“Gadget Girls” Teach STEM to Girl Scouts

This April, Girl Scouts from East Tennessee descended on the University of Tennessee campus for a day of hands on demonstrations and experiments in science, technology, engineering and math from University of Tennessee faculty. BESS Assistant Professor Jennifer DeBruyn and student Mariam Fawaz, assisted by graduate students Morgan Steffen and Ashley Frank from the Department of Microbiology, led the girls as they learned about molecular biology. The girls used common kitchen ingredients to extract DNA from fruit. Then they learned about how the information in DNA is translated into proteins: They worked in teams to decoded a gene, building “peptide” bracelets to take home. The day was a huge success, with many girls expressing interest in returning next year, according to Academic Outreach & Communications Director Lynn Champion.

Gadget Girls was a collaborative partnership between the Girl Scout Council of the Southern Appalachians and the University of Tennessee, coordinated by the Office of Academic Outreach & Communications.
Jennifer DeBruyn

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