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Workshops Teach Local Moms and Daughters About STEM and Careers

March 27, 2023

Merced-area mothers and their daughters participated in engaging hands-on chemistry projects recently, in two sessions hosted by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded CREST Center for Cellular and Biomolecular Machines (CCBM) at UC Merced.

UC Merced and UC Davis staff and students led the workshops, which focused on acids and bases.

“The session was an absolute delight for me and my daughter because the experiments were thoughtfully designed to teach us that chemistry is part of our everyday life,” said Tracy Proietti. “I particularly enjoyed the opportunity to join my daughter as she worked through the acid-base-neutral experiment, and we look forward to repeating this experiment with her younger sister. And it was no surprise that my daughter's favorite experiment was building her own miniature volcano and making it erupt!”

The sessions were part of the seven-week Mother Daughter Science Camp, organized by the Merced branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) and AAUW member Joana Browning. Session contributors and speakers included Petia Gueorguieva, Carrie Kouadio, Tajin Ahmed, Leesa Strasser and Erika Toriz Madera from UC Merced and Alex Gueorguieva from UC Davis.

The Mother and Daughter Science Camp is a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) outreach program that brings fourth- and fifth-grade girls and their mothers or other significant women in their lives together to conduct stimulating hands-on experiments.

The goal is to expose participants to the world of STEM and to show them that STEM can be enjoyable, as well as a domain where they belong. The program consists of sessions on biology, chemistry, math, physics, archaeology, soil science, engineering and computer science.

Participants learn about the basic aspects of different fields and associated careers, with each session led by a professional female facilitator. The program's unique format provides participating students with an opportunity to network with a diverse group of women who have STEM careers.

The annual event has openings for 24 mother/daughter pairs. To participate next year, contact the Merced chapter of the AAUW.