BEAUFORT, N.C. – For the third year in a row, the Duke University Marine Lab will host the Girls Exploring Science & Technology (GEST) event, which provides middle school girls the opportunity to participate in hands-on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) activities alongside female scientists working in those fields.
During the all-day event on Saturday, April 14, students will enjoy activities including designing remotely operated underwater vehicles, performing squid dissections and experimenting with closed circuits.
Rachel Nobel, associate professor at the UNC Institute of Marine Sciences, will be the keynote speaker. The afternoon will conclude with a panel discussion featuring women in STEM fields on educational and career opportunities.
Student participation in GEST has steadily increased during the past three years. This year, the registration cap of 200 students has already been met. After Saturday, the GEST event will have reached about 400 middle school girls in the Eastern North Carolina and Triangle areas.
GEST is organized primarily by female Ph.D. students at the Duke Marine Lab. Each year it takes 60-70 volunteers to run the event. In addition to Duke University, volunteers from UNC Institute of Marine Sciences, N.C. State’s Center for Marine Sciences and Technology (CMAST), N.C. Coastal Federation, N.C. Coastal Reserve, N.C. Aquariums, UNC Wilmington, NOAA, the Girl Scouts and the Naval Air Systems Command also participate in the event.
Outreach activities that involve the Carteret County community, such as GEST, are an integral part of the Duke Marine Lab’s mission.
“Connecting and engaging people in our community with the researchers and science at the Duke Marine Lab is something we feel very strongly about,” says Duke University Marine Lab Director Andy Read. “We are excited GEST has been so successful and look forward to continue supporting it”.