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Ninth-, 10th-Graders Attend SMART Girls Workshop

SMART GirlsPenn College hosted its 10th annual residential SMART Girls (Science and Math Applications in Real World Technologies for Girls) program July 11-15. Thirty-six girls participated in the program, which is for young women entering ninth and 10th grades. Trends show that a high percentage of girls stop taking higher-level math and science courses in their early teens, which leaves them at a disadvantage in pursuing many careers. One of the goals for SMART Girls is to encourage an interest in those subject areas by showing their real-world applications. Field trips included the Quest program at Bloomsburg University, where the girls climbed a 50-foot rock wall and participated in team-building activities. The SMART Girls also visited the Lumley Aviation Center in Montoursville, where they learned about aircraft weight and balance; and the Schneebeli Earth Science Center near Allenwood, learning about ornamental horticulture majors and spending time at the heavy construction equipment training site. Hands-on workshops included a range of applied-technology career areas, including photojournalism, physical fitness, paramedic technology, plastics, radiography, drafting and computer aided design, digital photography, and mathematics. The girls also participated in career exploration, facilitated by K-12 staff; communication and leadership activities, facilitated by Career Services staff; and digital storytelling, facilitated by the Madigan Library staff. The keynote address this year was presented by Anne K. Soucy, assistant dean of construction and design technologies, an advocate and champion of young women in nontraditional-by-gender careers. Upcoming SMART Girls events include two Saturday programs: Oct. 2, for girls in seventh and eighth grades, and Oct. 23 for girls in 10th and 11th grades. For more information, visit online, send e-mailor call the college’s Career Services Office at 570-327-4502. Visit thephoto gallery for more.