‘Super Science Saturdays’ engage fledgling female scientists

By Beth Donze, Kids’ Clarion

Cabrini High’s “Super Science Saturday” program, a series of learning sessions designed to help middle-school girls explore the sciences through fun activities and experiments, kicked off its 2018-19 season with a Sept. 29 session entitled “Cosmetic Chemistry.” Using graduated cylinders, test tubes and balances (scales), nearly 30 seventh and eighth graders from 13 Catholic, public and charter schools analyzed the characteristics of different shampoos (their percentage of solids, fragrance, pH level, foaming ability and grease-cutting capacity) and then determined which shampoo they would buy, based on their results. They also made their own bath soap, body scrub and dusting powder. The remaining sessions, which run through March, are open to girls in grades 4-6. Advance registration is required at www.cabrinihigh.com. Cost is $10 per student, per session. For a complete schedule, email Ann Smart at asmart@cabrinihigh.com or visit www.cabrinihigh.com/super-science-saturday.

Ann Smart, Cabrini’s Science Department Chair (pictured above, at center, helping her young scientists measure the foaming ability of their respective shampoos), began conducting Super Science Saturdays more than 10 years ago as a way to give middle-school girls a taste of academic life in a typical high school science lab.

Participants in the Sept. 29 session select scented oils for use in their bath products. Upcoming sessions will explore forensic science, the science of toys, cells, the three states of matter and “the science of springtime.” (Photos by Beth Donze)

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