We at Polar Field Services encounter amazing women every day in the course of our work. Some of them are on our staff. Others are researchers we help support. All are intelligent, interesting, and incredibly strong.
And they were all girls once—girls who grew up into successful, ambitious adults.
Many of them were helped by mentors and are, in return, mentoring others.
One mentorship program we love is Girls on Ice, a unique, FREE, wilderness science education program for high schoolgirls ages 15-18 that takes place in the summer. One trip takes place in the North Cascades in Washington state and the other is based on a glacier in Alaska. Acceptance is by application, and applications are due January 31, 2014.
Interested? Here are the details:
Each year a team of 9 teenage girls and 3 instructors spend 12 days exploring and learning about mountain glaciers and the alpine landscape through scientific field studies with professional glaciologists, ecologists, mountain guides, and artists.
What are the criteria for applicants?
- Diversity of backgrounds: diversity in terms of ethnic, cultural, economic and geographic backgrounds.
- Diversity of interests and life experiences: what can the girls bring to the team? Organizers seek a balance of interest in science, art, philosophy, social issues, politics, and more.
- Opportunity: this is a unique experience that is free to the girls. Organizers seek girls who stand to gain the most from the experience. Specifically, they are looking for individuals who have not had many opportunities to truly challenge themselves, for example, if they are from a small town that does not have much available or if, due to family circumstances, they have not had the chance to participate in many activities. We rely heavily on teacher recommendations.
How old do I have to be?
Girls on Ice participants are ages 15-18.
What will we do?
The question is: what don’t you do? Teams learn about alpine geology, glaciology, and mountaineering. They also challenge themselves and gain self-confidence in their physical, intellectual, and social abilities. Girls on Ice is the science version of a “language immersion” experience.
What do I get out of it?
Girls will experience the natural processes that create the alpine world and provide an environment that fosters the critical thinking necessary to all scientific inquiry. They will be encouraged to observe and think like scientists by making observations and inferences. They will develop their own experiments to test ideas and answer questions.
Why only girls?
The wilderness setting and single gender field team inspires young women’s interest in science and provides a challenging environment that increases their physical and intellectual self-confidence.
What is the experience like?
During the 12 days, girls will be challenged physically, intellectually, socially, and emotionally. They will be in a unique environment that brings out their natural curiosity, inspires their interest in science, connects the arts and sciences, frees them from gender-imposed roles, provides a less competitive atmosphere, and encourages them to trust their physical abilities.