Aquaponics at Girls Inc.

Chickens are not the only animals being raised at Girls Inc. When you venture around the different buildings, on the second floor, there is a room marked aquaponics. Aquaponics is not a word you encounter every day and when looking at it from the outside, it looks quite complicated. Though it seems intricate, it is simply comes down to the idea that the plants and fish are growing and living together in one environment. The fish make food for the plants to eat and in return, the plants clean the water that the fish live in. It is a constant cycle that ensures that both organisms have a healthy life. This programs helps not only create a fun learning environment for the girls, but turns science into a fun way for the girls to learn about life and biology. Girls are able to feed the fish and water the plants, learning how to properly care for the environment in which the organisms can thrive!

New Additions to Girls Inc.

There have been some new faces added to the Girls Inc. community. On June 20th, one of the Girl Inc. chickens, Mr. Joe as named by the girls, hatched five baby chicks. The baby chicks are adored by all and visited on a daily basis. Last summer, the building of a chicken coup began, which would provide a home for the chickens. Having these chickens on the campus has provided the students with the opportunity to have something that they can nourish and care for. They feed them and, along with Mr. Michael, make sure that the chickens are comfortable in their home and live a good life.

Eureka Graduation – Vet Rep


Jaylin’s remarks from the Eureka! Summer 2019 graduation:

Hello, my name is Jaylin Sims. I’ve been given the opportunity to share my experiences at Eureka! with the audience today.

First, I’d like to thank Ms. Emily for giving this opportunity to me and I am truly honored. I’d like to also thank the Eureka! and UNO staff members, as it was they who made Eureka! accessible and better. Lastly, I’d like to thank my family, they’ve been my rock since day one and I wouldn’t know where I would have been without them.

My memories at Eureka! have been amazing. Eureka! focuses on the empowerment of women in fields where women are underrepresented. The science, technology, engineering, and math or STEM program helps us achieve knowledge and keep the skills that we’ve learned in mind throughout our adolescent lives.

Throughout this month, I’ve built poignant relationships with my peers and younger classmates. Since the rookies are younger than us, I’ve had to step up into the big sister role of guiding them through Eureka!. They didn’t need much guidance because our amazing staff helped all of them throughout the camp. I’ve gotten to talk and interact with many of the younger girls, and I can say that I consider all of them my little sisters.

 I’ve also made impactful relationships with the older girls/ Vets. Girls I hadn’t known, I’ve become great friends with. Vets I didn’t think would like my personality, had become some of my closet friends. Eureka! has given me the convenience of having devoted friends, which has benefitted me emotionally and mentally. These girls have become some of the most essential people in my life and I consider all of them my family.

Eureka! has not only given me positive relationships, but it has also advanced my learning skills. During the month at Eureka!, we would have classes from 10:00 a.m. through 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. through 2:00 p.m., and in those few hours I learned a great deal. Eureka! has improved many of my skills by inserting easier steps to get to the solution, both in life and in geometry. I understood science better by being in Eureka!; I was one of the few girls at the top of my honor classes this year in school. Eureka! programming helped me achieve an A in geometry class.

I’ve loved them the two years that I’ve been at Eureka! – from learning about business to being able to create a substance which could, in fact, protect us from a zombie apocalypse one day. I can’t wait to go on this journey through high school with these girls by my side. All of you have impacted me greatly, and I am proud of each one of you for graduating today!

Eureka! Graduation – Rookie Rep


Ke’Ijha’s remarks from the Eureka! Summer 2019 graduation:

Good afternoon everyone. My name is Ke’Ijha Hadley and I am a Eureka! Rookie. Before I get started, I would like to thank some people. I would like to thank my mom for pushing me to sign up for Eureka! and my god mom for providing me with transportation. I would also like to thank all the Hannahs, Ms. Unek, Ms. Courtney, Ms. LIz, Mr. Dario, Ms. Marquita, Ms. Emma, Ms. Sarah, Mr. Will, Ms. Torri and all the student teachers and UNO staff, and Ms. Emily for accepting me into this program. I would also like to thank Maria and her parents for telling me about Eureka! Lastly. I would like to thank all of my fellow Eurekans for sharing these experiences with me.

When I first heard about Eureka! I wasn’t sure I wanted to join because it would take up a lot of my summer. However, what made me interested in Eureka! were all the different activities and projects we would get to do. I figured Eureka! Would keep me busy and I was right.

I got a little better at coding. I learned how to make clothing out of duct tape, even if it wasn’t the prettiest clothing. I also learned a lot during biomechanics. Dr. Cooper taught us that we share 60% of our DNA with bananas.

I think my overall favorite thing I did this summer in Eureka! was the high-altitude ballooning. We sent a high-altitude balloon into near space. My group and I chose to make ooblek, which is a non-Newtonian fluid. On Earth at a normal altitude ooblek has properties of both a liquid and a solid. Once you send ooblek into near space on a high-altitude balloon, when it comes down it is just a solid. That was my favorite activity this summer.

I plan to do a lot of things with the new knowledge I gained this summer. One thing I know I will do is listen to what Mr. David told us during personal development. If we want something done, we have to be the ones to do it.

Ms. Sophia Says Goodbye!

Ms. Sophia and Happiness Hour girls.

When I was applying to jobs during my senior year of college, I really didn’t know what I wanted to do next. I knew I was interested in education, psychology, writing, and women’s rights, but I didn’t think I would be able to find anything that would allow me to explore all these different areas at once. Then I heard about the Weitz Fellowship at Girls Inc. of Omaha. “Every day will be different,” I was told in my interview, and it was true. Over the past year I’ve had a huge variety of experiences through which I’ve been able to develop skills in all my interest areas and more.

Through my fellowship I have had the freedom to create multiple projects on my own. One of the most challenging yet rewarding projects I worked on this year was my Happiness Hour club for teens. I was a Psychology major in college, and I based my Happiness Hour club on a course in positive psychology that I took in my senior year. I wanted to be able to create a space where the teens could practice strategies for self-care and dealing with negative life events, and also discuss issues in their lives that are important to them. Although at first it was challenging, it was a valuable learning experience to be forced to apply what I had learned in a classroom setting to the real world. I was pushed to be creative in developing engaging activities for a younger age group and finding ways to make our club sessions interactive and hands-on. The club has been going on the whole school year, and it’s been so rewarding to see the same girls coming back each week and taking an active role in developing the club.
My favorite project to work on has been my Harry Potter book club for 4th and 5th graders. It was fun for me to introduce my favorite book series to girls for the first time and to see them get excited about getting sorted into their houses, making pom-pom owls, and trying Bertie Bott’s Every Flavored beans. Harry Potter inspired a lifelong love of reading for me, and I hope it does the same for the girls in my club.

Other projects that I worked on this year involved writing psychology lesson plans, teaching statistics to teens in a Giga Girl pilot project for Girls, Inc. national, and working with graduating seniors on scholarship essays. Through all of these experiences I’ve gotten a better sense of what I enjoy doing, where my skills lie, and how I can use my knowledge to help other people. I probably would not have been able to find another post-college job that would have given me so much freedom to explore my various interests. I’m still not sure what I want to do with my life, but I’ve gained much more information about myself and the world to help me make that decision.

Goodbye for now to Girls, Inc. and Omaha! I will miss my girls!

– Sophia Jenkins

Tori – former Eurekan!, now a Noyce Intern working with Eureka!

After coming back to Girls Inc’s Eureka! Camp, I have learned so much. The last time I was here, I was a Eurekan, or student. Now that I’m in college and a Noyce intern, I am assisting these wonderful girls explore STEM in-depth, like I did. When I was attending Eureka! as an eighth grader, I found my love for design. I can truly say Eureka! encouraged me to pursue a career in a STEM-related field. I am currently earning a degree in architectural engineering at UNO. Being on the other side of this summer program, I have come to realize how much time and effort goes into making and planning the activities for the month. After contributing to making lesson plans weeks in advance, I respect the staff for their vast amounts of hard work.

I also noticed the difference in the Eureka girls versus when I attended. Unlike my years at the summer camp, all of these girls were intrigued by the shark dissections, excited about the Biomechanics Lab, eager to learn about astronomy, and so much more. I was amazed at how the professors would give them a task, and how diligently they worked at trying to complete it.

Since this was my first year in being an intern for Eureka!, I was nervous about teaching eighth and ninth graders. Luckily for me, these girls treated me with respect and we all have such a close bond. Throughout the program I learned I was more than an intern, I was an ally. They talked to me about their college interests, questioned me about life on campus, and asked me about my school schedule. Each of their personalities are so unique and lovable. I will truly miss these girls.

[To read Tori’s thoughts about Eureka! after her very first summer (six summers ago!) click here. Tori is an example that “sustained exposure” to programming can create long term, positive impact!]

 

 

Eureka! Grads Share Highlights

Rajhae (L) and Mya (R) share remarks about their Eureka! experience.

Rajhae

 

I have been a Girls Inc. member since I was six years old. There was really no other place I’d rather be. Girls Inc. always had fun opportunities for me as I got older. The best part of my Girls Inc. experience was Eureka!

Eureka! taught me many important life lessons, like how to budget my money and more about robotics. I learned how to make my own game system with playdough. Perhaps most importantly Eureka! taught me time management and how to be professional in a job setting.

Ms. Hannah and the Eureka! staff took the time out of their day to find us externship placements. They weren’t just any job; the externships were jobs that were similar to what we wanted to do after college. My first year of externships I worked at Charles Drew Health Clinic. I had so much fun being able to take vitals and cleaning rooms after the patients were discharged. I also watched [a woman] get a Pap smear! I know from my education at Girls Inc. how important those annual exams are.

My second year I worked at Encor, a program for individuals with disabilities. I was able to work at the Encore center and at a location where the adults were living independently… The most fun part of the job was interacting with all of the clients.

…This experience…made me want to pursue my CNA license. My plan is to start at Metropolitan Community College, and then switch to UNMC to become a Registered Nurse. Eureka! is a great program for young girls to start their journey in to life. Eureka! can help lead you in the right direction and help you make the right choices. I want to say thank you to my fellow Eurekans, and congratulations! I couldn’t have chosen a better group of young ladies to share this experience with.

Mya

 

I am senior at Central High school.

I started the Eureka! program as an 8th grader.  I remember riding to the campus of UNO with my mom feeling a bit of resentment because it was summer and I was supposed to still be at home in the bed asleep.  It was summer at 8am…this was summer school.

Just like school, I learned a lot but Eureka! was different because I enjoyed the learning experiences.  It helped me to discover my love for science by doing rigorous experiments. My favorite was the High-Altitude Balloon Launch when I sent a goldfish into space to study the impact of changes in temperature when leaving the earth’s atmosphere.

Throughout high school my passion for science grew along with my desire to help others within the field of medicine.  As a third-year Eureka! student, I was able to complete an externship at Charles Drew Medical Center. I was able to interact with patients, nurses, and other medical staff.  It was there I received hands on training and solidified my desire to become a nurse.

This fall, I will attend Alcorn State University in Mississippi where I plan to graduate in four years with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. I hope to eventually work in the Labor and Delivery department of a research hospital so I can pass my knowledge on to other students with the same passion. Currently, I am in the process of becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) and I volunteer weekly at Life Care Center of Omaha.  With my CNA, I will work-part time during college to get experience and create a network of healthcare mentors.

As I embark on my new journey to college and nursing, I know that no matter what I face, the lessons I learned as a member of the Eureka! family have provided me the drive, focus, and motivation to help bring new life into world, and will allow me to overcome any obstacles I face.  For me, success is not an option, it is a way of life.

 

Testimonials from Ms. Beth’s Coding Club

Today in Coding Club, I loved doing stations. I enjoyed playing the Osmo App games. They were really, really fun. I even created a new game and it was so fun. – Messiah

I loved Osmo because it was super fun and cool. I enjoyed the Roofbot app because it was challenging. I wonder if we can play Osmo more often because I loved it. – Camille

I loved the Star Wars Project [at code.org] and it made me happy. I learned to play the Roofbot app and it makes me feel excited to play it next time, too. – Amaiyah