PARI: Girls ages 9-14 invited to SciGirls weather balloons program Tuesday, Nov. 5

press release from PARI


Rosman, NC (October 21, 2013) – Area girls ages 9-14 are invited to a SciGirls program Tuesday, November 5, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at PARI. The program will feature weather balloons and how a local student used them to study lightening in a search for gamma radiation in the atmosphere. The monthly SciGirls programs are co-hosted by PARI and Transylvania County 4-H, and affiliated with the national effort to engage girls in science sponsored by Twin Cities Public Television.

“We are especially pleased to have Michele Coker, a Western Carolina University student, join us for this special program,” said PARI Education Director Christi Whitworth. “Our topic is weather balloons and how they are used to gather data. Michele will show how she used balloons to gather data on lightening while searching for gamma radiation in the atmosphere. She will also talk about how to track down a payload after it is dropped. Michele worked at PARI last summer as an intern and is an excellent role model. She will share with the SciGirls how she got involved with science and what kinds of projects girls can find to work on while in school. After her presentation, PARI staff will lead an activity on locating objects and estimating distances using radio receivers. Prior participation in SciGirls is not required and we encourage all girls ages 9-14 to join us.”

SciGirls events are typically scheduled each month during the school year. The next scheduled event is December 3 at the Transylvania County Extension Center in Brevard. The participation fee is $10 per student. Program details, specific hours and registration details can be found on the PARI web site, Participants can register at Area teachers and parents are asked to encourage girls who may be interested. The national SciGirls web site is

About PARI
The Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute (PARI) is a public not-for-profit 501 (c) (3) foundation established in 1998. Located in the Pisgah National Forest 30 miles southwest of Asheville, NC, the PARI campus was selected in 1962 by NASA as the site for one of the first U.S. satellite tracking facilities. Today, the 200 acre campus houses radio and optical telescopes, earth science instruments, 30 buildings, a fulltime staff and all the infrastructure necessary to support STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education and research. PARI offers educational programs at all levels, from K-12 through post-graduate research.

PARI is home to the Astronomical Photographic Data Archive and a member of the NC Grassroots Science Museums Collaborative. PARI’s Exhibit Gallery displays a collection of rare meteorites as well as NASA Space Shuttle artifacts, many of which have flown in space. For more information about PARI and its programs, visit Follow PARI on Twitter at “Like” PARI on Facebook at

About Transylvania County 4-H
4-H is the youth development program of our nation’s Cooperative Extension System based at each of our Land Grant Universities. For more than 100 years, 4-H has been at the forefront of teaching youth about science, engineering, and technology.

Open to young people from 5 to 18 years old, 4-H programs help develop leadership, citizenship and life skills. Locally, 4-H’ers are learning about science, horses, cooking, gardening, farming, leadership, action planning, public speaking and livestock judging. To find out more about 4-H opportunities contact 4-H Agent Mary Arnaudin at or call the Extension Center at 828-884-3109.

About Margaret Williams
Editor Margaret Williams first wrote for Xpress in 1994. An Alabama native, she has lived in Western North Carolina since 1987 and completed her Masters of Liberal Arts & Sciences from UNC-Asheville in 2016. Follow me @mvwilliams

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