Saturday, September 15 Lauralton Hall hosted Science Olympics for Girls, a free event – now in its 15th year -- for girls in 6th, 7th, and 8th grades. Hosted every fall and spring by Lauralton Hall science and math faculty, the event welcomes girls from across southwestern Connecticut to compete in challenges related to physics, chemistry, earth science, and biology.
At Saturday's event teams representing 15 schools accumulated points for challenges that included designing model cars to investigate ways to improve breaking distances and examining the ancestry and genetics of sea fungus Spongiforma squarepantsii (better known as cartoon character SpongeBob Squarepants).
The following teams from St. Aloysius School in New Canaan earned first place science medals in three of the four divisions: "The Variables" (6th grade), "The Alkanes" (7th grade), and "The Newtonians" (8th grade). Awarded the first place science medal in the mixed grade division were "The Molecules" represented by girls from Milford's St. Mary School and West Shore Middle School.
According to Lauralton Hall Science Department Chair Dr. Susan Cavar, Science Olympics for Girls is an opportunity to share knowledge and enthusiasm for science with the local community of middle school-aged girls.
"We know what works for girls in particular – it's what we do at Lauralton," said Dr. Cavar. "Not only do we see girls excel here; many go on to major in the sciences in college and to pursue careers in engineering, medicine, and technology. The challenge is to hold their interest through their teens, and Science Olympics for Girls is one more way to engage young girls -- before they even get to high school -- in how exciting science can be," added Dr. Cavar.
In a break from the competition, a naturalist from Animal Embassy, a rescue organization based in Stamford, provided an up-close look at a tortoise, chinchilla, and other rescued animals and talked about their habitats and the importance of protecting them.
The next Science Olympics for Girls will be held Saturday, May 11, 2019. If you're an educator, parent, or girl in 6th-8th grades who wants to receive an email when registration opens, please sign up here for our mailing list.