Children First: Operation S.M.A.R.T. an early advantage - KOTA Territory News

Children First: Operation S.M.A.R.T. gives girls an early advantage

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With a "smart" start, the girls of "Operation S.M.A.RT" could be on the fast track to careers in math and science.

"Like sometimes when I dream, I pretend I'm a scientist," said Vena Hall-Clavadetscher, a student in the program.

And she's not the only young girl with dreams of becoming a scientist. It's in large part to Girls INC.'s Operation S.M.A.R.T., a program designed to encourage young girls to become interested in math and science.

"Because they are surrounded by other girls they're not intimidated by 'oh it's a guy thing' or 'it's a boy thing', they're girls. They're just hanging out with the girls," said Jessica True, Operation S.M.A.R.T. teacher.

And it's that group observation that encourages the girls to be hands on.

"I had something that looked like a giant goat head from Pierre. And I looked up close to it and it looked like a giant baby beak," said Hall-Clavadetscher.

Operation S.M.A.R.T. is not your typical science class taught out of a textbook. Rather these girls are getting real life lessons about issues pertaining to the Black Hills and beyond.

"This summer when the fires were going on we focused on fire maps. And we talked about all the fires that are going on. There's just a lot of flexibility that I have and that we can do about the current events issues that are going on around the girls," said True.

And growing up in a society where kids know how to use an iPod by the first day of Kindergarten, it's important to show these girls that math and science can be fun too.

"There's so many other things that kids are doing nowadays rather than being outside and being aware of what's around them," said True.

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