Wanted: Twenty girls to build solar-powered cars and crystal radios. On Saturdays. For fun. Must like physics.
Although most of the teenage world is hanging out at the movies with friends, two Murray High School teachers hope to recruit high-school-age to learn how to harness the magic of physics.Physics camp directors Tony Romanello and Lillian Tsosie-Jensen are so confident in their project, they applied for and got a $10,000 grant from the American Institute of Physics to boost the program.
Now, they need girls. Romanello and Tsosie-Jensen are also looking for college students studying a physics-related major to mentor the young women during the program.
"This is a good opportunity for girls to be part of a program and get to know what's there in science, regardless of the male-female population (in the field)," Tsosie-Jensen told the board.
Romanello said about 17 percent of students at Murray High take physics courses, compared to 20 percent of students nationwide. And only 17 percent of the students who take physics are female, he added.
"Physics is the underpinning of every mechanical device ever built," Romanello added, noting that there is a need to encourage learning of physics, especially among female students.
The two teachers are also recruiting help from local science teachers to conduct labs, which will extend topics such as electricity and optics that girls are learning in their physics classes. The camp also features speakers from science-related fields.
There is room for four female students from West High, Murray High, Highland High, Copper Hills High and Brighton High. Tsosie-Jensen said that interviews and applications for both mentors and girls will start in September, with the first camp session starting in October.
Although the Physics Camp for Young Women is still in need of about $2,000, the teachers are thankful to sponsors who have signed on with the program.
Romanello said that Texas Instruments has donated five hi-powered scientific calculators and lab equipment for the program.
Anyone wishing to donate money or equipment can call Romanello or Tsosie-Jensen at Murray High, 801-264-7460.