Why do leaves turn colors?

Happy Fall!  We had a great second week at Woodson North with our Sisters4Science students on September 23rd, which is also the first day of fall!  Our STEM Facilitator, Kiara, was unexpectedly ill, but no worries, our Program Manager, Jaclyn Carmichael, had the opportunity to fill in and meet our students!  We started the session by getting to know each other and learning some new things about one another.  The students shared their favorite song (of the moment) and something they love doing in fall to celebrate the Autumnal Equinox.  Our discussion turned into a great learning experience, when one of the students brought up the changing of the leaves!

I asked the students, “Does anyone know why the leaves change color?”  Some of them guessed that it’s because they are dying, while others guessed that it was because the weather was getting colder.  I explained to them about the purpose of chlorophyll in the leaves and what happens to it as the seasons change.  They were really engrossed in the conversation and all commented that they had learned something new!

Our next activity had all the girls excited because they had the opportunity to use something they all know and love: iPods! Project Exploration has been exploring new ways of implementing the preliminary surveys for our programs and one of the ways is through iPods, Google surveys, and QR codes.  The Woodson students did amazing with them!  Since the girls are so updated with technology, they knew exactly how to use them.  They did a great job with the survey and ensured that they were fully thinking through and answering the questions.  While they did the survey, we had some great discussions about their scientific interests and why they wanted to join our program.

Our great session ended with a review of the paperwork required for the program and the girls tried to convince me that they could keep the iPods! They have a great sense of humor!

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