More than 30 Girl Scouts from Eagle, Chaffee and Summit counties spent the weekend of April 25-27 learning about the impact of Colorado’s winter weather on the landscape for the rest of the year in the state. The event took place at the Keystone Science School, who in partnership with Girl Scouts of Colorado, have been providing a series of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math)-related camps over the last four of years for area Girl Scouts.
Saturday’s activities included several hours of hiking nearby Keystone to see first-hand the impacts of the snow pack. Groups hiked around Keystone, Lake Dillon as well as Montezuma, which is a 20-minute drive from Keystone, along the Continental Divide. Snow pack was gone in many areas, except for the group that hiked in Montezuma.
“We hiked in waist deep snow,” said Girl Scout Maggie, 9, from Buena Vista.
Maggie’s group found that through the course of their hike they were witnessing snow melt in process.
“The snow was hard in the morning (making it easier to walk on), and softer in the afternoon (when we sunk in walking),” said Bailey, 13, also from Buena Vista.
Out on the trail each of the groups enjoyed lunch and learned where all the snow/water in Keystone ends up.
“The water from Colorado reaches the ocean,” said Lily, 10, from Eagle. “When it rains in Keystone that water reaches the Pacific.”
Back at camp after the hike, the Girl Scouts got to take a look at an experiment they had set up before they left. Each of the groups had placed snow from around camp in a cup or jug and had made personal predictions for how much water they thought would come from the snow.
“I understood the water cycle before I came (to camp), but I didn’t know how it all happened. I’m learning a lot, and it is cool to try out (earth science),” said Chianne, 9, of Buena Vista.
One of the concluding activities on Saturday afternoon was how water causes erosion. The girls worked in groups with tubs of sand to create a landscape. Some added rocks from around camp as well. Then they turned on the small water hose hooked up to each tub and witnessed how water could help or hurt the landscape they created.
Lilli, a 6-year-old Girl Scout Daisy from Summit County, loved every moment of the camp because she can’t wait to be a scientist one day.
“I like science and learning new things. I love experiments,” said Lilli.
Grant funding provided by Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Foundation Climax-Area (CO) Community Investment Fund and Copper Environmental Foundation helped make this weekend camp and other camps in the series possible.
STEM is a core curriculum focus in Girl Scouting because more men enter STEM fields than women. Girl Scouts’ research shows that girls are interested in STEM but are not as knowledgeable about the careers and the opportunities afforded by these fields. By introducing girls to STEM in a hands-on setting and showing them how they can make the world a better place through STEM, Girl Scouts hopes to attract more girls to lead in these field.
For more information on Girl Scouts of Colorado visit girlscoutsofcolorado.org.