The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

School of hard rocks

WISE, geology department teach science

Women In Science and Engineering hosted a geology day Saturday. The event, held for local 5th and 6th grade girls, focused on teaching the opportunities involved in field of geology.

“Geology can be considered an umbrella field that covers many different areas of research. Today we focused on the paleontology side of it because of its hands on nature,” WISE co-director Kawai Wong said.

After icebreakers the girls were divided into two groups for manageable lecture sizes. An almost 1-1 ratio of mentors to WISE kids was acquired thanks to help from the SMU service house.

“Throughout the semester, the members of SMU service house work with many different community organizations to promote educational ends,” WISE officer and service house member Kaseun Wong said. “Geology Day for WISE was a perfect event to bring these two organizations together again to help impact these Dallas community girls.”

The first lecture was presented by graduate researcher Diana Vinyard and covered the vast field of sea turtle research. It focused not only on current research on living turtles but delved into the evolution of the species from a fossil record perspective.

The second presenter was sophomore geology major Rissa Westerfield, who showed the girls what field research was like. Additionally, the girls got to engage in a hands-on fossil laboratory which focused on extrapolating data from the fossil record.

WISE closed its event with support from local business that provided the girls with lunch while their parents came to pick them up. The time also gave the mentors the opportunity to talk to the girls in a relaxed social setting.

“One of the most important parts of our mission at WISE is to help the girls build confidence in analytic abilities,” WISE officer Mary Borer said. “By showing the girls present research focuses, we can break down many of the current stigmatisms against women in science and research.”

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