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Girl Scouts spend a day doing experiments

Nicole Inglis

— Alyssa Spencer has pink dye on her legs. Her hands are stained with the remnants of pink chalk and her shirt is covered with soap, glue and other casualties of a day of scientific experiments.

“We might have to hose them down before they leave,” joked Becky Forquer, an organizer of the first Girl Scouts science camp.

Alyssa and her partner for the day, Madison Reed, both 9, want to be scientists when they grow up.

“I like experiments because I like how they turn out,” Alyssa said. “It’s interesting to learn how to make this stuff.”

A total of 30 girls, ranging from kindergartners to teenagers, gathered Wedneaday at the Moffat County Fairgrounds Pavilion to participate in an all-day science camp for Girl Scouts.

The scouts moved through several demonstrations and projects throughout the day.

They mixed chalk from Plaster of Paris, water and tempera paint.

They made their own tie-dye shirts and saw how a pin can stick through a balloon without deflating it.

“I didn’t think this was going to happen,” Madison said, holding up her green balloon with a long toothpick pierced straight through the rubber. “I like finding out why things turn out the way they are.”

After lunch, they treated themselves to desert by making their own ice cream with vanilla, half-and-half, sugar, rock salt and ice.

Future scientists

Alyssa said she can’t wait to get into fifth and sixth grades when she’ll be able to mix chemicals together in a real science lab.

“I want to be the kind of scientist that mixes things together and makes concoctions,” she said. “I love concoctions.”

Her partner in many home science experiments, Madison, wants to be a biologist.

“I want to be a scientist who discovers something that no one has ever seen before,” she said. “Like a new species of butterfly because butterflies are my favorite.”

The two already are well on their way, often mixing their own beauty products during sleepovers.

“We take things from the kitchen and the bathroom,” Alyssa said. “Like toothpaste, corn starch and flour. Last time, we made our own eyebrow shampoo. And I made a lotion.”

Madison said the two travel to museums together often and enjoy the activities the science camp had to offer.

Each participant will earn a science badge for her efforts, which will help them in their Girl Scout careers.

The entire Craig unit of Girl Scouts attended, including Daisies (as old as 5), Brownies (6 to 9 years old), Juniors (9 to 11 years old) and Cadettes (11 to 14 years old).

Many of the troop leaders have daughters in the program; however, Karen Dmytro is one leader who chooses to volunteer her time even though her children are grown and have long since moved away from home.

“I just love kids,” she said. “My children are grown and live across the country. This is a way I get to play with kids all day. So far, they are all having a ball here.”

Dmytro said this was the first year of the science camp, however she has a feeling it will become an annual event.

“We want to expand it, too,” she said. “We had to take a lot of things out that we wanted to do because there just wasn’t enough time. The kids just love it. And hopefully, they’re learning while they’re doing it.”

Geyser gone wrong

All 30 girls are sitting with bubbling anticipation for one of the last demonstrations.

Forquer has a bottle of Diet Coke on the lawn, and is about to drop 12 Mentos mints into it.

Most of the girls know what happens next, but they still squeal with excitement when a fountain of soda bursts into the air.

Each pair gets to shoot off their own geyser, and soon it’s Madison and Alyssa’s turn.

Forquer, however, screwed the top on too tightly this time, and when the Mentos drop in, the pressure sprays out of the sides like a sprinkler, dousing a few bystanders.

The girls collapsed in giggles, and one asked Forquer what went wrong.

“I have no idea,” Forquer said. “That’s just science, I guess.”


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