- Associated Press - Thursday, July 16, 2015

DOTHAN, Ala. (AP) - Juliana Singley and her teammates managed to stuff an egg into a balloon without breaking it, but unfortunately their lucky streak didn’t extend to dropping the inflated balloon, which was also stuffed with cottonballs , off a balcony and having the egg survive.

Singley and her team were among 160 middle and high school girls participating in an egg drop that was part of activities scheduled for the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine’s Women in Science camp. The three-day camp gave the young women a chance to learn about career opportunities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) related careers.

“This engages young women to keep their love of science going,” said Dr. Jaishree Patel, associate professor of pharmacology.

According to the National Math and Science Initiative, women are underrepresented in STEM careers. About 48 percent of workers in all fields are women, but only 23 percent of workers in STEM fields are women.

During the camp, students got to experience a day in the life of a physician, nurse, pharmacist, physical therapist, researcher and engineer. Patel said camp organizers demonstrated a variety of career opportunities in STEM fields to show young women that opportunities are available at many educational and salary levels in STEM.

The egg drop held Wednesday challenged teams of students to design a means of protecting an egg from a one-story fall. Students were given a budget and could buy several materials for their designed device.

“It was interesting,” Singley said. “We had a certain amount of money we could spend and we saved some of it in case it didn’t work.”

Other activities at the camp included first-aid activities, presentations by doctors, engineers and other medical personnel, skits and other hands-on activities.

The camp, along with other educational activities for local primary and secondary school students, was funded by a $20,000 grant from the Southeast Alabama Medical Center Foundation as part of its Beyond the Classroom Initiative.

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Information from: The Dothan Eagle, http://www.dothaneagle.com

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