Toad-ally cool math and science integration

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Science and Children




"Hop to It," a week-long herpetology-focused summer STEM camp for rising fourth-, fifth-, and sixth-grade girls, provided young females with authentic, hands-on science experiences, allowing them to develop the habits of thought and processes of action used by STEM field experts while also engaging and sustaining their interest in the STEM fields. In this way, "Hop to It" also served as an excellent opportunity to redress a longstanding and persisting educational inequity of women being underrepresented in STEM. Scholarships for students from low socioeconomic homes were funded by "The Herpetology Education in Rural Places and Spaces (HERP) Project," a collaborative, statewide informal science education National Science Foundation grant-funded project created to provide opportunities for the general public, high school students, and secondary school teachers to learn about and collect scientific data on common native species of reptiles and amphibians in local habitats. This article explains the activities in "Hop to It," describes the elementary-age girls' engagement in the various activities, and offers suggestions for providing similar learning experiences.


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