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DNA Selfie, Newest STEAM Program for Girls, Is More Than Skin-Deep

PHILADELPHIA - (October 8, 2014) - The University City Science Center is taking “selfies” to a new level with a program designed to inspire girls to explore disciplines and careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM). DNA Selfie, the newest program under the Science Center’s STEAM Initiatives, will also introduce an innovative methodology for biology education. The program will run from September to December 2014 with 14 7th and 8th grade girls from The City School at Walnut Street.

DNA Selfie uses team design projects to engage girls in the exploration of their own cells and DNA. Participants are using photo-microscopy to create self-portraits of their isolated DNA and then transform their “selfies” using new tools and technology. This inquiry-based program gives middle-school girls the opportunity to delve deeper into computer design software and technology – such as a laser cutter and vinyl cutter – to recreate and morph representations of their DNA and cell pictures.

Female mentors in the Science Center’s network, such as designers, investors and researchers, will inspire participants’ projects through tours and demonstrations. The mentors’ work in STEAM fields will leave girls with a strong understanding of the program’s relevance to the real world.

Through youth programming, mentorships, and educator workshops that encourage creative exploration and experiential learning, the Science Center’s STEAM Initiatives are using Art to encourage entry into the STEM fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math – and ensuring that today’s generation of students is prepared to become tomorrow’s innovation workforce.

The Science Center’s STEAM Initiatives are made possible by the generous support of The Dow Chemical Company’s DowGives Program and Wexford Science + Technology, A BioMed Realty Company.

About the Science Center
The University City Science Center is a dynamic hub for innovation, and entrepreneurship and technology development in the Greater Philadelphia region. It provides business incubation, programming, lab and office facilities, and support services for entrepreneurs, start-ups, and growing and established companies. The Science Center was the first, and remains the largest, urban research park in the United States. Since it was founded in 1963, graduate organizations and current residents of the University City Science Center’s Port business incubators have created more than 15,000 jobs that remain in the Greater Philadelphia region today and contribute more than $9 billion to the regional economy annually. For more information about the Science Center, go to

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Kristen Fitch

Senior Director, Marketing