STEM camp opens eyes, delivers new ideas for Girls Scouts

TSAILE, Ariz.

Navajo Transitional Energy Company | Courtesy photo
Tyler Begay, Diné College Land Grant intern, assists Nyera Jones of Rock Point, Arizona, in archery at the Navajo Nation Girl Scouts STEM Camp on June 23 in Tsaile, Ariz.

It wouldn’t be a surprise if in a decade Neviayah Yellowhair, of Blue Gap, Arizona, is wearing a white lab coat in a laboratory or designing a building.

Yellowhair was among 84 girls, ages 5 to 17, from approximately 20 communities across the Navajo Nation who attended the inaugural Navajo Nation Girl Scouts STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) Camp in Tsaile, according to a news release from Navajo Transitional Energy Company.

She enjoyed all the activities over the three days, but the chemistry presentation by the Arizona Science Center was the most memorable.

“It was cool how she made fire,” the 12-year-old said. “l like to build things. If the other girls don’t have building equipment at home, they had it here.”

NTEC partnered with the Girl Scouts of Arizona Cactus-Pine Council and Diné College to host the event at the Tsaile campus.

An estimated 200 Girl Scouts are registered on the Navajo Nation, from Crownpoint to Tuba City, but many of these girls are unable to attend STEM activities in surrounding cities.

“NTEC recognized this disparity and decided to bring STEM to our girls,” said Nathan Tohtsoni, NTEC education coordinator. “The girls were able to earn multiple badges, in addition to STEM. We hope with the presentations and bringing in positive female role models a light will develop, and the girls will see STEM as a viable career choice.”

Lois Palmer, of Montezuma Creek, Utah, accompanied 10 girls from Troop 2512.


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Categories: Education