Alexandria Pavkovich, an R&D chemist at Restek, watched the face of a young girl light up when she created a mini lava lamp by adding an Alka-Seltzer tablet to her 40 mL vial mixture of colored water and mineral oil.
It was Feb. 17 at the Pennsylvania College of Technology in Williamsport, PA, and the experiment was one of two Restek brought with them to the first of three STEM Expos that the Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania (GSHPA) will host this year. Restek also had a gumball separation demo.
“It felt like a big hit and they were excited they could take their lava lamps home to show their friends and family.” Pavkovich said. “I take a great interest in getting girls into science. Some of them are coming from a smaller area and it’s fun to broaden their experience and spark an interest in science.”
More than 1,500 Girl Scouts in grades kindergarten through 12 have registered to attend the free expos featuring dozens of activities provided by program partners that bring science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) skill-building opportunities directly to girls. Another Expo was held recently at East Stroudsburg University and the final one will be Saturday, May 19, at Millersville University.
“Girls are learning about STEM because of companies like Restek. The dedication of employees in giving their time and expertise never ceases to amaze me. GSHPA’s mission is to build girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place. We are successful because supporters like Restek invest in our girls and help create the next generation of successful female leaders,” Ellen M. Kyzer, President & CEO of GSHPA, said.
Restek is committed to supporting local STEM programs and often attends elementary and middle school STEM fairs.
“You don’t get this kind opportunity at every company. It’s great that we get to spread our love of science to the younger generation,” Pavkovich said. “You see their minds spark with curiosity as they engage, understand, and begin to see possibilities unfold. It’s pretty inspiring to watch them find joy in both scientific discovery and also in the realization that they have the potential to become anything they want to be.”
Accompanying Pavkovich from Restek were Joe Windell, Jana Rousova, and Titus Morehead.
Other exhibitors include Pocono Environmental Education Center; Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders; Association for Women in Mathematics; Wildlands Conservancy; Lincoln Caverns; AccuWeather; and Da Vinci Science Center.
For more information about Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania, visit www.gshpa.org.