Cora, a 5-year-old Girl Scout, said she wants to be a scientist when she grows up.
“The snake one,” she said.
On Sunday, Cora gently pet a red-tailed boa constrictor at the Florida Museum of Natural History, located at 3215 Hull Road. More than 150 eager Girl Scouts, troop leaders and parents in the community attended the “She’s a Scientist!” program to engage in hands-on learning, explore different science exhibits and meet female scientists.
It was the program’s fifth year, said program organizer and Florida Museum educator Chelsea Collison.
“We offer this program to give Girl Scouts in our area a chance to meet some role models that are female scientists,” Collison said. “We’re trying to break that misconception that a scientist has to be a man in a lab coat.”
Each exhibit was led by a female scientist from one of 10 groups from the museum, outside organizations and UF, including UF’s departments of Entomology and Nematology, Biology and Astronomy.
The girls will receive a patch for attending the event to put on the back of their vest or sash, Collison said. The patch shows a yellow beaker that reads, “She’s a Scientist?!”
Collison said the program was catered toward Brownies and Junior Girl Scouts, which ranges from second grade to fifth grade but welcomed anyone who wanted to attend.
The leader of Girl Scout Troop 363, Alix Shunick, 43, attended the program for the first time with four girls in her troop. She thought it was a good use of UF’s resources.
“I want to make sure that (girls) are exposed to anything and everything that they may want to get into in the future,” Shunick said. “That they don’t have any limitations on them and that they can just keep shooting for the stars.”