More than 140 girls from 41 different middle schools spent their Saturday dissecting sheep hearts and studying live reptiles at the Second Annual “Girls in Science and Engineering Day.” The full-day event is the brainchild of UAB Physical Therapy student Alison Barnard and medical student Farah Khan.
The Vestavia Hills friends used to compete in math tournaments in high school. Barnard created the day for middle school girls, which is a crucial age for them to feel confident and excel in their math and science abilities. The girls had the opportunity to participate and engage in fields such as neuroscience, chemistry/forensic science, biology/reptiles, medicine, civil engineering and exercise physiology. A new workshop, forensic science, was a huge hit with the girls. The students learned how chemistry is used in crime scene investigations by dusting for fingerprints, test for traces of cocaine and identify blood on evidence.
Several faculty members across campus including PT’s Jennifer Christy participated in the day. Last year, more than 70 girls from 18 different middle schools took part in the free event. Sponsorships from Vulcan Materials, Alabama Power, BioHorizons, Wilson Capital Management, Inc., Pro-Image, LLC and Coca Cola paid for the food and t-shirts given to the students.