Editor’s Note: The Young Women and Science program, now in its 26th year, was created to support the development of 8th and 9th grade students as leaders in the field of science.The program is designed to build science inquiry skills, knowledge of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, and leadership for a future generation of women scientists.The program is grounded in the belief that these students will have a vital impact on the character of science in the coming decades.This one-week open enrollment program includes girls from diverse backgrounds, joining the TSS community from public and private schools across the country. We asked one participant to reflect on a field day and are excited to feature her experience here.
On the second day of camp, after learning about the biotic factors of the ecosystem, we boarded the TSS vans and headed off to the Taggart and Bradley Lakes trailhead. Although there was a thick cloud cover and only the base of the mountains were visible, the fresh air was wonderful, and the energy of all 30 girls was electric.
We started off hiking on the trail, making scientific observations about the landscape. After about five minutes, we pulled aside and learned about the geologic timeline of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, using a tape measure to show dates.
Alternating hiking leaders, we continued through the bare aspen groves. At each stop, we discussed a different chapter of abiotic topics, the first being rocks. In our rock chapter, we discussed the different types of rocks: metamorphic, igneous, and sedimentary, and we practiced identifying them.
When the thought of possibly reaching the lake was mentioned, the group was incredibly enthusiastic, so we continued without delay. After only a few more stops, an eventful journey through the forest we named Narnia, and lots and lots of smiles, we arrived at Taggart lake. It was fascinating and wonderful to see everyone take in the unmatchable beauty of the park. I can guarantee that the experience will be one that no one forgets.