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Earth Sciences camp inspires junior Lauren Beard to pursue Meteorology

Junior Lauren Beard reads weather pattern graphs after attending an Earth Sciences camp this summer. At the camp, Beard explored her passion for meteorology with students from all over the United States. “[I] thought it was a great opportunity to see if this is something that I’m really interested in,

Maria Newton

Junior Lauren Beard reads weather pattern graphs after attending an Earth Sciences camp this summer. At the camp, Beard explored her passion for meteorology with students from all over the United States. “[I] thought it was a great opportunity to see if this is something that I’m really interested in," Beard said. “I’ve just found myself drawn to that subject, I’ve always just found it really interesting."

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Junior Lauren Beard visited an atmospheric and Earth sciences camp at the University of Wisconsin (UW) over the summer to further her knowledge of meteorology.

“I’ve just found myself drawn to [meteorology],” Beard said. “I’ve always found it really interesting how [different events around the United States are] affecting us, like hurricanes.”

The camp, run by the Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellites Studies (CIMSS), covers more than just the weather.

“We focused on a broad variety of things. One day we did [a lesson on] astrology and went into a planetarium which was pretty cool because we saw how star patterns change every month,” Beard said.

Most of the meteorology information was given through lectures, except for a presentation by a research group based in Antarctica, who spoke about weather patterns.

“I found the hurricane talk interesting, because we don’t really talk about hurricanes in St. Louis,” Beard said. “It was really interesting because the public [of coastal cities] really depend on meteorologists to tell them when to evacuate and from which areas.”

Beard believes that attending camps about a specific field of study is important for high school students.

“I think going to camps gives kids an opportunity to see what they might be doing [in a certain career path],” Beard said. “I wish [the camp] was longer because I had so much fun.”

I think that as a community we need to start getting girls interested in science at a younger age.”

— Lauren Beard

The camp had the unique appeal that it was located in Madison, WI, which is considered to be the ‘satellite capital of the world’ due to the large quantities of satellites on the UW campus.

“It was cool because it was so interactive,” Beard said. “That was the most I’d ever done with a satellite.”

Out of the 20 students in attendance, 15 were male and five were female.

“It was pretty unbalanced,” Beard said. “I think a lot of girls don’t see [sciences] as a career they can go in to.”

Beard sees this imbalance in her classrooms as well.

“[The imbalance] still surprises me,” Beard said. “I think there could be more of a push [for female inclusion of STEM fields].”

However, Beard does not think women in science is a lost cause.

“I think that as a community we need to start getting girls interested in science at a younger age,” Beard said. “We’re definitely getting better, but we’re not where we should be, yet.”

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About the Contributor
Maria Newton, FEATURES EDITOR

Grade:  12

Years on Staff:  2

If you were a fictional character, who would you be?  Chandler Bing

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