This month, 20 girls from around Whitehorse will be starting a new, scientific adventure — exploring health and the body in a fun and innovative way.

The All-Girls Science Club at the Yukon College is offering students in Grades 5 to 7 an opportunity to experience an exciting new world. Every year brings new ideas and this year’s theme, The Science of Health, will explore such topics as nutrition and epidemiology.

Felicity Vangel has participated in the All-Girls Science Club for the past two years, and has immensely enjoyed her experiences. With future goals of becoming either a biologist or a veterinarian, this year’s health theme is a particularly good fit.

Felicity’s favourite thing about the science club is the hands-on activities such as experiments and modeling. She is excited to learn more about the digestive system and how all the body systems work together.

Last year’s theme was Earth, Science, and Space. Some of the activities included solar system modeling with paper maché planets, a laser remote controlled robot, and conversations with a Canadian astronaut and a geologist. Every session is jam-packed with hands-on activities, laboratory experiments, and field trips.

Felicity initially heard about the club through a friend, and a number of her other friends are also interested, and are considering pursuing science.

The club was started by Yukon College’s Science Adventure program about six years ago to foster an interest in science by girls before they enter high school. The hope is that as they begin to pick their courses in secondary school, they will choose an academic path that will lead them towards higher education in science, engineering, and technology.

“Youth are our future leaders, and with the issues facing the Yukon today we need strong leaders – and girls need to be a part of that,” says Lori LaRochelle, an assistant with the Science Adventures program.

Science has had a hard time ditching the “nerd” connotation, but this discipline offers high-paying, innovative, and attractive careers. In nearly every sector of our economy scientific professionals are needed to conduct research, monitoring, exploration, design, and construction.

There is a mentorship component to the program, and high school and college students join in the activities with the girls.

The girls also get to meet local professionals who speak about their jobs and other opportunities. Exposure to people in this age-range and experience allows girls see and talk about their experiences from early schooling through to employment.

The All-Girls Science Club runs from February 15 to May 26 at the Yukon College. There is only space for 20 girls, so those interested in participating need to apply by February 13. Acceptance is based on a first-come, first-served basis.

This year there are bursaries available to assist with the $150 registration fee. Registration forms can be found on the website at www.ScienceAdventures.ca.