2008 Joint Meeting of The Geological Society of America, Soil Science Society of America, American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies with the Gulf Coast Section of SEPM

Paper No. 29
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-6:00 PM

Encouraging Girls in Geologic Pursuits through the Early Exposure to the Highly Visible Field of Volcanology

HUTCHINSON, Kathryn A., Department of Earth Science and Geography, Vassar College, 124 Raymond Ave, Poughkeepsie, NY 12604 and GOEKE, Elizabeth R., Department of Earth Sciences and Geography, Vassar College, 124 Raymond Ave, Poughkeepsie, NY 12604, kathrynhutchinson7@gmail.com

Volcanoes are frequently portrayed in pop-culture and are used to introduce the exploration of science among young girls. The Girl Scouts of America have long emphasized the importance of encouraging girls to explore fields that have historically been dominated by men by exposing and promoting scientific fields to girls. However, badges based on topics relating to earth science are rare. We developed a new Girl Scout badge focusing on volcanoes to help introduce girls to science. Ten activities were designed for this Junior's (4th-6th grade) badge including: plotting of locations of active volcanoes; an exploration of the hazards and benefits associated with living near volcanoes; the causes and expressions of volcanism on Earth; mythology about volcanoes; extraterrestrial volcanism; the historic impact of volcanism; an introduction to igneous rocks; careers in volcanology; volcanic monitoring and prediction; and factors affecting lava flow. With each activity, suggestions for ways to complete the activity, along with useful background information on each aspect of volcanology, are included on an accompanying website meant for both girls and their leaders. Because volcanoes are so prevalent in the news and popular culture, girls will have some exposure to and interest in volcanoes already. The badge will expand upon the girls' previous exposure to volcanoes, correct common misconceptions found in popular culture, and provide avenues for further exploration. This badge is meant to encourage girls in upper elementary school to seek the truth about volcanoes and volcanology while exposing them to science and scientific thinking in all content areas.