Boca Chica Texas Starship
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The Science Near Me blog is a partnership between Discover magazines and ScienceNearMe.org.

On April 20, 2023, SpaceX’s spacecraft, the most powerful spacecraft ever built, lifted off from the company’s Starbase launch facility in Boca Chica, Texas. It was an exciting display of engineering feats and a preview of future missions that could send humans to the Moon, Mars and beyond.

The feat was mitigated by the rocket’s “rapid and unplanned disassembly” (AKA explosion) shortly after liftoff. But, said SpaceX founder Elon Musk, it was an important step in the design and testing of this powerful new class of rockets. Now the company’s engineers have more information on what to do to improve their rocket. Space launches may be the most exciting application of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) know-how in Texas, but they are far only one. Companies that design and manufacture semiconductors, wind turbines and more in the state rely on engineers and scientists to create world-changing machines.

“The STEM workforce is obviously important, and we know it needs to grow to meet demand,” says Tricia Berry, co-op manager for the Texas Girls Collaborative Project (TxGCP), an organization that connects and empowers groups across the state that are working to get more girls into STEM.

Growing this workforce starts with getting people in Texas excited about STEM, which the TxGCP is already doing with partners across the state. They show young girls in Texas that science can be a lot of fun when you get the chance to get into it.

STEM in Texas

Growing the STEM workforce in Texas and across the country starts with reaching people who might not consider a STEM career, Berry says, and helping those who are already on the path to a STEM career to thrive. . Women and girls are still underrepresented nationally in STEM careers – grow their numbers and we grow the STEM workforce.

TxGCP partners with organizations in Texas that are already working to educate and inspire girls using STEM, amplifying their efforts and helping bring their opportunities to a wider audience. They are also associated with Science near mea one-stop-shop for finding science opportunities in your area, to provide even more STEM opportunities for Texas residents.

“It’s really about providing resources, providing connections, connecting the community with opportunities,” says Berry.

Science Opportunities in Texas

TxGCP partners with organizations across Texas to showcase the best in STEM in the state. This includes organizations like GirlStartnamed Austin’s Top STEM Program for Youth by the Austin Chronicle in 2021. Summer STEM opportunities for girls under the program include week-long camps exploring what it takes to go to space or exploring the depths of the Mariana Trench, while their Girlstart After School programs offer free STEM enrichment at participating schools.

In northeast Austin, the Girl Scouts recently opened a STEM Center of Excellence in Dallas. The 92-acre campus offers opportunities to explore robotics, computer coding, chemistry, and more through field trips, workshops, day camps, and other programs. The Center also hosts robotics clubs that allow girls to design, build and drive custom robots.

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“There’s a lot of great STEM work being done by Girl Scouts across the state,” Berry says.

You can also find STEM opportunities across Texas using the new Science Near Me Exchange on the TxGCP website. The exchange is powered by the Science Near Me database of thousands of opportunities and allows anyone to search for science activities in their area. Try Exchange today and search by area, date, keyword and more to find an array of fun, family-friendly activities near you.

“It’s hard for families, it’s hard for educators, it’s hard for program providers to find information or share information without it getting lost,” Berry says. Science Near Me “provides that one place we can direct organizations to market their information, giving us the one place to tell families and educators to go.”

Here’s just a taste of what you might find on the Texas Science Near Me Exchange:

  • Join Texas Broadcast Team to study and protect 191,000 miles of Texas waterways. Monitor waterway conditions and water quality at over 400 sites to help protect this natural resource in Texas.

  • Monitor the spread of bat diversity across Texas. Observe and record where more than 30 species of bats live in Texas, sending your observations to scientists.

  • What does an eclipse look like? The 2024 total solar eclipse will move across Texas. Lots of interesting things happen in the natural world during an eclipse, like crickets suddenly starting to chirp. Scientists want you to help them track what it looks like! Learn how you can be prepared to make observations.

You can always find more ways to engage with STEM on Science Near Me, wherever you live. Try the opportunity finder on the website today and see what you find!

If your organization offers events, projects or programs that invite the public to engage in STEM, add it to Science Near Me!

#Discover #science #Texas #Science

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