Girls Summer Science Camp being offered in the Smokies

The 2009 Girls In Science Camp group in the midst of a field habitat study in Cades Cove.

The 2009 Girls In Science Camp group in the midst of a field habitat study in Cades Cove.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is now recruiting rising 8th grade girls for the second summer Girls in Science Camp at its environmental residential center, Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont located near Townsend, Tenn. The camp is made possible through a 3-year, $1,000,000 Science Education grant from Toyota to Friends of the Smokies, a non-profit organization that supports conservation, education, and other Park priorities. The camp is just one of the programs made possible through the grant.

During the week, the girls will get up close and personal with the natural world working with National Park Service and Tremont staff as they join researchers in conducting hands-on science in the Park, studying hellbenders and other salamanders, the bounty of streams in the Smokies, and the unique high elevation forests. The camp will run from June 21 - June 26.

“The Girls in Science Camp is a unique experience that will create memories that last a lifetime as girls get to know science in the Smokies,” said Park Superintendent Dale Ditmanson. “It has been shown in studies that many girls start to lose their interest in science around the time they enter 8th grade. We feel this program will provide a positive outdoor experience learning about the Park’s natural resources during this one-week residential camp at Tremont.”

Interested girls must be students who will be entering 8th grade this fall. To apply, the potential campers must fill out an application found at www.gsmit.org/girlscience. The camp is free, but transportation costs to and from the camp are not covered. A refundable $50 deposit is required to register. All applications must be postmarked by March 19, 2010, and sent to: Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont, 9275 Tremont Rd., Townsend, TN 37882. For more information, please check www.gsmit.org or call Tremont at 865-448-6709.

Tremont, who celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2009, serves nearly 6,000 students from 93 schools from 12 states each year through its residential environmental education programs. In addition to this grant funded summer camp, Tremont is offering six other summer camp adventures this June and July for boys and girls ages 9-17.

Through its corporate initiatives, manufacturing operations and philanthropy, Toyota supports numerous organizations across the country, focusing on education, the environment and safety. This generous grant was provided to Friends of the Smokies to support science education in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

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