Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Arizona Girl Scouts Embrace Renewable Energy to Keep Tucson Clean and Beautiful

Arizona's Tucson Citizen reports that the hot days of summer often find Tucsonans seeking refuge indoors to escape the sun’s powerful rays. This is not the case for girls participating in the Girl Scouts’ Power Up camp, which takes place next week at the University of Arizona. The thirty girls signed up for this unique hands-on science experience will be looking at ways to use the sun’s rays to their advantage by harnessing its energy to power up original inventions that will emphasize a commitment to keep clean Tucson clean and beautiful.

During this weeklong camp girls ages eleven to fourteen will explore alternate energy sources and will discover the world that surrounds them in an entirely new way. Girls will not only learn about the current methods for harnessing the power of solar, wind, and water resources to power up houses, cars, and even boats (as seen with the Solar Sailor in Sydney, Australia), they will also have the opportunity to team up with University of Arizona Engineering & Design students to develop the concepts introduced by PBS’s Design Squad Kinetic Sculpture Challenge. Girls will create their very own moving sculpture, which will include designing a prototype and marketing their invention. They will present their work at an end of camp showcase for their family and friends.

Power Up Camp will also have a number of VIP guests. Mayor Jonathan Rothschild, State Representative Bruce Wheeler, and State Representative Macario Saldate all plan to attend the Camp and to support the continuing interests of girls in the STEM fields. Renewable energy is a cause particularly close to Mayor Rothschild’s heart. Not only does he enthusiastically support the Solar Power 101 community education workshops started by Congresswoman Giffords, he also made solar energy and water conservation an integral part of his 180 Day Work Plan upon becoming Mayor. Representative Wheeler and Representative Saldate are also passionate about this issue; they are both active members of the House’s Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

Michelle Higgins, Girl Scouts STEM Director, is excited for what lies ahead. “This is a great opportunity for the girls to meet and interact with University of Arizona students and professors as well as community leaders who share their interests and are committed to powering up new ideas and inventions. It’s s also really amazing to see girls extrapolate engineering design concepts into every day applications. I can’t wait to see them in action and their final products.”