In April, 2014, I was recognized as a CLIMB 365 Leadership Journey Honoree. For the next year, I partnered with CLIMB 365 and blogged about my work in STEM, conservation, and about my STEM Leadership Summer Camp. I was asked to write about ‘both the pits and the peaks’, so this blog is a snapshot of my work for one year. I had a terrific year with CLIMB 365 and enjoyed sharing my work with my blog.

 STEM LEADERSHIP CAMP 2015

Hi Friends,
I can’t believe this year has flown by so quickly! I have enjoyed sharing all of the past year with you and especially appreciate the support of the Junior League of Greensboro with Climb 365 and for believing in my goal.
STEM Leadership Camp was an idea that I started in 2011. Camp has had many ups and downs, for many different reasons. Sometimes I’ve felt incredibly successful and other times my patience has been tried. Camp did run successfully at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences in 2013 and 2014, and I am grateful to for the support of the museum director, Dr. Emlyn Koster. This year, camp will look a bit different. It will be an all girls camp at Saint Mary’s School and I’m excited about what this change will bring. Also, this year camp became an official business in my state. This is another small step towards making camp accessible to more children everywhere. I plan to keep working on camp in the years to come and invite you to visit my website for future updates about camp.
Thank you for following along with my Climb 365 journey.
Peace,
Molly

EF GLOBAL STUDENT LEADERS SUMMIT

Molly PaulHi Friends,

My recent trip to Costa Rica to present at the EF Global Student Leaders Summit was amazing!! I met students and teachers from around the world and had the best time speaking about how they could use Google Mapping to address challenges and create community-based service projects at home. Also, I had the opportunity to chat with Dr. Jane Goodall. This was incredible and I was thrilled that I could talk with her.
*All photo credit to Kamilah Martin and JGI*
ETUS_GSLS_CR_032115_2005
My photograph with Dr. Jane Goodall.
IMG_2247-L
Members of the US JGI National Youth Leadership Council touring EARTH University.
Members of the NYLC.
IMG_2287-L.
Madi and I presenting on community mapping. IMG_2354-L
Giving some background about myself. My map of Raleigh!
IMG_2365-XL
IMG_2374-L
Taking audience responses during the interactive portion of our presentation where students addressed challenges in a map of the area surrounding our hotel.
An artist brought by EF drew this incredible picture of Roots and Shoots while she was listening to Dr. Goodall’s keynote.
IMG_2375-L
IMG_2209-L
Two of my friends on the NYLC at the hotel.
Peace,
Molly

EDUCATION FIRST GLOBAL STUDENT LEADERS CONFERENCE

Molly PaulHi Friends,

I’m leaving for Costa Rica for the EF Global Student Leaders Conference on Thursday. Follow along with the all the activities with the hashtag #EFSummit on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Make sure to follow along for updates and pictures!

Peace,

Molly

REPTILE AND AMPHIBIAN DAY!

Molly PaulHi Friends,

Saturday is Reptile and Amphibian Day at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences! The theme this year is crocodilians. One of my other projects is selling Molly’s Turtle Soap to fundraise for NC conservation organizations, and for the third year in a row I will have my own table at R/A day with all proceeds from my sales going to the museum! I will be selling all kinds of turtle shaped soaps along with my signature tub soak. Be sure to stop by the museum if you’re in Raleigh this Saturday and say hi!

I also have some baking ahead of me. I’m the co-president of the Saint Mary’s School Environmental Club and we’ll be selling cookies and brownies at our dance off Sunday night. We’re raising money to retrofit school drinking fountains so that re-usable water bottles will fit in the fountains.

Unfortunately, the water was unbelievably cold this past weekend and I could not dive. I have another dive scheduled in April and hopefully it will be a little bit warmer.

My doctor prescribed anti-typhoid pills to take before Costa Rica, there are only 4 and I had the 3rd tonight. I can’t wait to share my photos and experience with you!

I saw a preview today for this summer’s STEM Leadership camp – I will share this soon!

Peace,

Molly

UPDATE!

SUCBAHi everyone,

Sorry for not posting lately, I had the flu and was out of school for a week. I’m feeling much better but catching up with work for three AP classes has not been fun.

I’m really excited for my upcoming trip to Costa Rica to speak at theEducation First Global Student Leadership Conference in San Jose. Dr. Jane Goodall is the keynote and I can’t wait to hear from her! My talk will be about using Google Maps and I’ll be presenting with my friend, Madi Vorva, co-founder of Project ORANGS. You may recall that Madi presented with me in Raleigh at the ASTC conference and I can’t wait to see her again in March! I’ll bring pictures back to post.

Also, I’m going to test for my Advanced SCUBA certification in March. The water temperature around here is 48 degrees so think warm thoughts for me!!

Finally, I may not be in town for STEM Leadership Camp at Saint Mary’s School this summer, so that’s something I’m having to figure out, hopefully it will all work out.

Peace,

Molly

STORYCORPS

Molly PaulHi everyone!

StoryCorps was a huge hit! The Museum of Natural Sciences was invited to participate in StoryCorps as a result of winning the National Medal for Museum and Library Service in May. To quote the press release from the NCMNS website, “After the ceremony on May 8,  StoryCorps — a national nonprofit dedicated to recording, preserving, and sharing the stories of Americans – will visit the Museum to document stories from the community.” StoryCorps interviews pairs of individuals who have an interesting history together. I accompanied Dr. Koster, museum director, for our interview. This honor was one of the most amazing experiences of my life.

Dr. Koster and I at the StoryCorps reception.

IMG_4046 (2)

A gorgeous cake.

IMG_4047 (2)

Dr. Koster and I saying a few words.

IMG_4052 (2)

One of my favorite NRC exhibits.

IMG_4056 (2)

Peace,

Molly

PHOTO JOURNEY OF ASTC

Molly Paul

Dr. Koster, the director of the NC Museum of Natural Sciences, welcoming the guests from 40 different countries to the ASTC annual conference. His leadership and vision is what enabled me, as well as other youth, to participate in this event for the first time in ASTC’s 40 year history.

IMG_3763 (2)

Dr. Hayat Sindi, the first women from a Gulf nation to receive a PhD in biotechnology, presenting as the keynote. After her address,  I was able to join her on stage to facilitate a discussion from young women in the audience as well as a student from Malaysia.

IMG_3784 (2)

Dr. Sindi and me.

IMG_3788 (2)

Lauren, a Ravenscroft student, also asked Dr. Sindi questions. Lauren is a talented science student who has won several science fair awards over the years.

IMG_3793 (2)

Students from a variety of high schools and middle schools in the area joined Dr. Sindi as she explored the booths at ASTC. We were so inspired by her story and her drive.

IMG_3810 (2)

My final remarks of gratitude for Dr. Sindi.

IMG_3818 (2)

Last picture from Saturday!

IMG_3820 (2)

Breakfast with Dr. Koster as he runs through the day ahead for AFN winners presenting on a panel.

Dr Jane (2)

Watching a video of Dr. Goodall acknowledging the successes and hard work of the students on the panel, specifically her Roots and Shoots National Youth Leadership Council.

IMG_3845 (2)

Madison, Casey, me, Cole, Dr. Roland Kays, Avalon, and Rhiannon.

Panelists with globr (2)

My good friends and fellow Action For Nature Young Eco-Heroes.

Peace,

Molly

ASTC LINKS

Molly PaulI was honored to represent Saint Mary’s at ASTC and have felt very supported through my academic experiences there. I hope our panel discussion and meeting with Moore Square Middle School was successful in reaching out and inspiring other youth to take action in their communities.

For more info about ASTC and my role, see the links below!

http://www.sms.edu/news/item/index.aspx?LinkId=4227&ModuleId=38

Peace,

Molly

#ASTCXAFN

Molly PaulHello friends,

We are one week out from ASTC and I am so excited! I received some great news recently, I will be participating in the keynote with world renowned biotechnologist, Dr. Hayat Sindi. She is the first woman from a Gulf nation to ever receive a PhD in biotechnology, and I am incredibly honored and humbled to meet her, let alone stand on a stage next to her!! I can’t wait to share this experience with you.

Peace,

Molly

ASTCxAFN_graphic

WALTER

Molly PaulThank you, Walter Magazine!

Peace,

Molly

#ASTCXAFN

Climb365-CMYK

Hi friends,

Two great pieces of info to share. First, I had a terrific meeting about camp this week, more to come on that later but please keep fingers crossed for me! Second, I was delighted to be interviewed by Joelle Seligson for Dimensions, the ASTC magazine. This link takes you to the transcript: http://www.astc.org/blog/2014/09/01/qa-with-molly-paul-turtle-power/

We’re on ASTC countdown here in Raleigh! Can’t wait to hang out again with my fellow AFN Eco Heroes and show them Raleigh’s beautiful science museum! #ASTCxAFN

Peace,

Molly

ASTC

Molly PaulHi everyone,

I’m very excited to announce that NC Museum of Natural Sciences Director, Dr. Emlyn Koster, has invited me and five other youth conservationists (Action for Nature International Young Eco-Heroes) to serve on a panel at ASTC, which is the Association of Science-Technology Centers International Conference this October in Raleigh!

This is an amazing honor because youth have never before presented in the history of this conference. So far, over 1100 people from 29 countries have signed up to attend. I can’t wait to share the experience with Climb 365! I’m also looking forward to all the connections I can make for STEM Leadership Camp. I’ll be posting my day at the conference on Facebook and Instagram with the hashtag #ASTCxAFN.

ASTC will be an amazing opportunity for me to spread the message of the importance of STEM and leadership education with decision makers from around the world! Wish me luck!

Peace,

Molly

JGI R+S NYLC

Molly PaulAs a member of the Jane Goodall Institute Roots and Shoots National Youth Leadership Council, I am a leader and educator for Roots and Shoots groups across the nation. Today, I joined 17 other outstanding youth in San Francisco for a conference. I cannot wait to learn new things and meet my other council members in person!

Peace,

Molly

#NYLCinCA

DAY 5 OF STEM TO LEAF

Molly PaulHi everyone! Today the campers spent the morning discussing patterns and infinity in fractals. They also spent time in the Visualization Lab in the NRC.

It was so sad to see all of my campers leave but I know they enjoyed it and learned a lot!

Peace,

Molly

DAY 4 OF STEM TO LEAF

Molly PaulToday we has the BEST tour and lab activities at FREEDM Systems Center. I am so thankful to Dr. Pritchard, Dr. Jensen, Mr. Kassa, and all of the graduate students to facilitated this amazing morning! In the afternoon, the campers went box turtle tracking and had a ton of fun.

Peace,

Molly

DAY 3 OF STEM TO LEAF

Molly PaulHi everyone! Today we did some fun activities with an egg drop and an enzyme lab!

I’ve been on my feet a lot these past 3 days. I was told to “take it easy” with my sprained ankle but that’s easier said than done. I took off my brace this afternoon and my ankle looked the worst in has since the accident. Without being too graphic, I’ll just say it’s big and purple and green. Hopefully it will hurt less tomorrow.

I made a conscious decision to prolong my recovery by a few weeks so that I could be fully engaged with the campers this week. This week really isn’t about me. It is about the experience and the unique education the students will get.

Peace,

Molly

DAY 2 OF STEM TO LEAF

Molly PaulToday was fantastic! The campers got to see me do a live animal demo with some program animals in the morning. They also had a fascinating discussion about ethics and leadership in the NRC. To top off the day they got tours “behind the scenes” at the museum and got to explore different websites using iPads!

Can’t wait to see what the next three days bring!

Peace,

Molly

camp2

One campers journal cover.

camp1

Our whiteboards with the schedule for the day and bridges from Monday.

photo (1)

Above is a journal entry outlining a leader’s plan for a bridge. If I recall correctly, it held about 20 lbs. :)

DAY 1 OF STEM TO LEAF

Molly Paul

Today was wonderful! The campers heard from the wonderful Dean Holland about leadership and got to build bridges.

Pictures of the week to come!

Peace,

Molly

ANKLE

Molly Paul

Hey everyone!

So yesterday I was ice skating and fell and sprained my ankle. After it swelled to about the size of an egg my family decided to take me to the doctor to get some x-rays done. I am happy to say I have no broken bones or fractures, but I have to wear a brace and take it easy. STEM to LEAF starts Monday. I’m usually on my feet the whole day running around and up and down stairs, so it’ll be tricky to “take it easy.”

I’ll keep everyone updated!

Peace,

Molly

SMS CAMPERS

Molly PaulSo happy to give some campers at a Saint Mary’s School summer leadership camp a tour of the program animal room at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences today!

Peace,

Molly

DISL

Molly PaulHi everyone!

I came home today from a month-long marine biology class at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab. I completed over 150 class hours under the mentorship of three talented instructors. This is truly an advanced, specialized curriculum at the top marine biology research institution in Alabama. Several of their researchers publish ground breaking work that has made international news. It was truly an honor to complete the program. I was so fortunate to have another opportunity to advance my own education!

A big thank you to my instructors and role models: Dr. Tina Miller-Way, Ms. Jenny Cook, Mr. Greg Graeber, and Ms. Jennifer Latour. I’d also like to thank my counselors and interns for all of their support. The dining hall staff, housekeeping, and boat captains are also worthy of many thanks.

Here’s a link for more DISL info: disl.org

Peace,

Molly

scenery

FIRST EXAM

Molly PaulHad my first exam today! I actually really enjoyed learning the material and think I was well-prepared. Fingers crossed! I’m glad to have so many great educators to look up to here while I’m planning my own programs.

Peace,

Molly

Ps. We got a “behind the scenes” tour of Audubon Aquarium of the Americas! Our tour guide was very knowledgeable. It was so exciting to see the inner workings of such large aquaria!

photo 1photo 2

ESTUARIUM

Molly PaulHi!

We all visited the estuarium on Dauphin Island and got to see a great assortment of native species. Every animal is local to Dauphin Island!

Below is an image of a horseshoe crab’s abdomen- enjoy! They are really interesting animals who I hope scientists will study more in the future. Horseshoe crab blood can be used to test bacteria levels in medication.

photo 5

Peace,

Molly

EXCITING NEWS

Molly PaulHi Friends!

I received a great piece of news this week “Congratulations! Your limited liability company, STEM Leadership Camp, LLC, has been formed in the state of North Carolina.” I am so happy!! This was an important step to growing my camp beyond one location and I thank my mentors for encouraging me to do this.

Peace,

Molly

FIRST DAY AT DAUPHIN ISLAND SEA LAB

Molly PaulHi Friends!

Had a great first day, I wish all my STEM Leadership campers could be with me! My roommate is lovely and the teachers are wonderful! I went cast netting and caught some interesting fish!

Peace,
Molly

BAMA!

Molly PaulJust landed in Mobile, AL on my way to the Dauphin Island Sea Lab! I’ll be participating in a marine science course over the next month and can’t wait to share my time with you! This is a wonderful STEM resource. I’m glad to be participating in programming so I can remember what it’s like to be a camper.

Peace,

Molly

MRS. PAT

Molly PaulHi everyone!

Today I met with Mrs. Pat. She is a retired businesswoman who volunteers her time with SCORE. She gave me plenty to think about, like creating an LLC and copyrighting my material. She was so helpful and intelligent – I plan to meet with her again in the near future!

A big thank you to Dr. Hannum for suggesting I reach out to SCORE!

Peace,

Molly

COACHING CALL

Molly PaulHi everyone,

I had a wonderful meeting with my coach Dr. Hannum! It was so lovely to hear her insights and to be guided by such a talented female leader. Dr. Hannum asked me some very direct questions about my ideas, which really helped me clarify where I see this project in the future. I am at the point of deciding if I am going to turn this into a business or not (which in and of itself is a lot to think about). This was the beginning of a very good series of discussions about where this idea could go.

She had a great suggestion to get in touch with the SCORE chapter in my community. I had not previously heard of them, but they are a group of volunteers with backgrounds in business, law, etc. and they help people with small businesses ideas for free.

Peace,

Molly

NCSU VET SCHOOL

Molly PaulHi Friends!

Today I am pleased to say I finished documenting all 356 Turtle Rescue Team (TRT) cases. The TRT volunteers their time and talent to provide medical aid and rehabilitation to wild turtles that are injured. Every turtle has a folder that documents everything from treatments and medicines to symptoms and more. As an independent project I started in the fall, I created a spreadsheet of each case, collecting and sorting data about the gender, species, type of injury, and medicine applied. Today I finished my last case, a male Eastern Box Turtle.

When I was finished, I got to watch vet students and the TRT insert a feeding tube into a turtle that refused to eat. I was so excited to watch the procedure! Afterwards, I learned how to draw blood from turtles.

I am so grateful to Dr. Lewbart and the TRT for their kind welcome and mentorship.

Peace,

Molly

ADVICE

Molly PaulSomeone asked me what the best advice I could give would be. Let me start off by saying I am thrilled people want to advice from a 16-year-old. But to the heart of the answer, I think everyone needs to give themselves enough room to develop their passions. I am not suggesting you quit school or your job because you think you might like to try knitting. I am not saying that at all.

I know most of my peers attend school 8:00-3:00pm, then 4:00-7:00 or even 8:00pm is sports or dance. They fill their evenings with extracurricular activities that are not fully rewarding. I guarantee you all 20 varsity and 15+ junior varsity players on the team do not plan on becoming professionals in that sport. Something happens around age 10 or 11 when students stop trying to figure out what they want to “be.” Everyone keeps asking, but there is seldom a response. Time is devoted to sports, dance, gymnastics, or some other activity that the students only “kinda sorta likes I guess.”

I think if there was a little more time spent on developing the interests of youth, it would be much easier to engage them in meaningful extracurricular activities that will guide their interests in college and beyond.

Peace,

Molly

Q&A

Molly PaulHi Friends!

Here are some fun Q&A questions about myself. Enjoy!

Nickname: Molly is hard to nickname. I had a few students and teachers  in Perth call me Momo.

Future Title: Aquarium Director

By 2016 I will… : Be graduating high school and packing for college! I trained in tae kwon do for a few years before and during my freshman year of high school. I got up to a deputy dan black belt (the one before black) and decided to focus my time on my academics and volunteering instead. I hope to go back and finish my first degree black belt before I graduate.

When I am alone I…: Respond to emails, do my homework, return phone calls, and work on my projects.

I wish I made more time to…: Sleep.

I am the most proud of…: RATA and STEM Leadership Camp

On a Friday night I am…: Usually in downtown Raleigh near the science museum for First Friday or Junior Curator meetings.

The most inspirational woman I know is…: How could I possibly come up with only one? Jane Goodall, Eugenie Clark, my middle school math teacher, my Dean of Students at Saint Mary’s School. The list goes on. I am so fortunate to have such an abundance of kind, strong female leaders in my life.

If I was given money to spend at one store…: I would be torn between a pet shop and Sephora. I obviously love animals and would be more than ecstatic to take home as many fish, bunnies, and puppies as I could carry. However, I also like my makeup. I could easily spend all of the money on lip tints and glosses and not even think twice.

Peace,

Molly

RATA

Molly PaulI wanted to let everyone know a little bit more about me! In 2006, I started my own organization called Raleigh Aquatic Turtle Adoption that works to rehome unwanted pet turtles, fundraise for organizations that support the environment, and educate the public through presentations and STEM Leadership Camp.

This is the link to my website for more information!

Peace,

Molly

CAMERA TRAP PT. 2

Molly PaulI’ve been having too much fun with my camera trap! Below is just further proof of all of the wonderful wildlife you can find in your own backyard!

Peace,

Molly

M2E30L51-52R391B291

THOUGHTS ON PUBLIC SPEAKING

Molly PaulHi Friends! I’ve been doing a lot of public speaking recently and wanted to give you my take on it! I try to teach all of my campers about communication and therefore public speaking. Usually, public speaking is persuasive to a certain extent.

Here are some tips:

-—Be clear, concise, and articulate
-—Keep things relevant to the point, don’t waste time getting off-track
-—Remember people will only pay attention to you for so long- so start with a good point and end with a great one
-—Appeal to ethos, pathos, and logos
Peace,
Molly

NEWS ARTICLE

Molly PaulHi! So happy with how this turned out, take a look! I’m so grateful to all of those that have supported me over the years!

http://www.wral.com/st-mary-s-student-s-service-places-her-on-the-path-to-success/13600710/

Peace,

Molly

EXPLORATION

Molly PaulHi Friends!

I’ve had a very busy week! I always find exploring natural spaces (even in my own backyard) can be really refreshing and uplifting. I’m not a great photographer, but sometimes photography is a great way to try to seek out the beauty in nature. The STEM Leadership Camp curriculum strongly encourages youth to explore their own communities and natural spaces. There are so many unique mediums you can use to interact with the natural world. Photography is one I happened to choose today- enjoy!

Peace,

Molly

IMG_3122IMG_3174IMG_3190IMG_3182 (2)IMG_3204IMG_3217 (2)IMG_3238 (2)

NATIONAL MEDAL FOR MUSEUM AND LIBRARY SERVICES

Molly PaulToday the NC Museum of Natural Sciences was honored with the National Medal for Museum and Library Services. I was the community representative chosen to accompany the director of the museum to accept the award from the First Lady. Everything was beautiful and crisp. I met so many wonderful people and was truly humbled by the experience.

Everyone asks me what the First Lady is like. She is wonderful. She is warm, kind, and genuine. It was such a pleasure to spend time around such a joyous yet poised individual. I will never forget it!

Peace,

Molly

See the full video here.

*note- I do not own the photos below, they are from various public media outlets.

DAY 4 #PRUSPIRIT2014

Molly PaulThe morning was only goodbyes to all of my new friends. In the afternoon I visited Senator Hagan and representatives from Sen. Burr’s office. My flight left and I was home by 3.

I’ll never forget this amazing experience and am so thankful to Prudential, NASSP educators, and my new friends.

Peace,

Molly

hagan

DAY 3 #PRUSPIRIT2014

Molly PaulToday we served a school in DC. We handed out books for the children to read and split up into groups to read to the children. I read to 5th graders! I also was able to say a few words about my own conservation organization (you can learn more here)!

kids JLD_3637 (2)

After taking a tour of Washington monuments, we then awarded our national winners at the National Awards Luncheon in the Chamber of Commerce. I was so thrilled for all of the honorees chosen! I know they will represent the state honorees and our nation well!

That night all of the state/national honorees came together for a dinner cruise on the Potomac. It was a blast and I spent all of my time with my new friends!

Peace,

Molly

*note: the photos above were taken by ASSP educators.

DAY 2 #PRUSPIRIT2014

Molly PaulI was up for breakfast bright and early!  I toured the National Cathedral with other high schoolers I was now convinced were my long-lost best friends. After a little bus tour and lunch, we went to the MLK Jr. Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, and several war memorials. Everyone thanked servicewomen and men we saw along the way and we were all very moved by their experiences.

We took a snazzy group photo and went back to the hotel to share our projects. At my table, youth stepped up to solve problems surrounding poverty, bullying, extended learning, and more. I was very impressed with everyone’s dedication to their given projects and am glad their communities have such good role models.

That night we had a ceremony awarding all of the state honorees and the international honorees. Forest Whitaker was the keynote speaker and inspired all of us! I was to able to exchange a few words and take a picture with him and my middle-level counterpart.

JLD_3541 (2)ZSH_0580 (2)

To be continued…

Peace,

Molly

*note: photo credit to Prudential.

DAY 1 #PRUSPIRIT2014

Molly PaulBelow is the true story of my first day at the 2014 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards Recognition Event. This is the story of how I was treated like a rock star and met the top-notch youth of America.

I just landed in DC and totally by coincidence the middle school rep from NC was sitting near me! Prudential pulled everything off with impressive military precision. I got on the bus with my new friend and we drove to the hotel where we’d meet the other honorees. The honorees were asked to leave the bus first. Without questioning why, I left the bus and was greeted by at least 15 people (a mix of honorees and staff) with balloons and loudspeakers. Wow. I made my way through the sea of high-fives and got to all the fun technical check-in stuff.

I got to my room and found my luggage all neatly placed and ready for me. I had a sense of who my roommate was but only saw her luggage. I went downstairs to greet new honorees and came back up to find my roommates luggage moved and slightly unpacked. I was fairly certain my roommate was a ghost. I later learned she’s sweet, talented, and Ms. Teen New Hampshire, but at the moment I found it comical my new room mate was, for all practical purposes, a ghost.

I ended up meeting her downstairs during “get to know you” “let’s bond” sort of games. I’m almost 16 now, I guess my favorite Disney princess is Mulan, my favorite food is risotto but I’m not sure everyone knows what that is, I’m from North Carolina, and I prefer dogs to cats. Any other questions I can answer while you get to know me?

We had a lovely dinner where I sat with a lovely girl who fundraises to find a cure for ALS and a boy who helps people that are hospitalized. Their stories were very inspirational. That night I spent a lot of time talking to my roommate, who I learned was not a ghost, but a kind type 1 diabetic who works to stop diabetes and never lets it stop her.

To be continued…

Peace,

Molly

FIRST FRIDAY!

Happy First Friday everyone! Make sure to stop by the museum for a fun old-fashioned sci-fi movie and a science café!

Peace,
Molly

SHAKING HANDS

Molly PaulHow can someone build confidence and make a good impression on others they meet?

—Even if you are not, be confident. There are times in life you just need to do things and this is one of them. Channel something within yourself that builds your confidence. There’s probably a bigger goal to focus on than your fear. Whenever I’m fearful about something I remind myself of the bigger reason I am where I am. It’s not about me or my fears. Tell yourself you’ll deal with your nerves later.
—Take the first step: introduce yourself and put out your hand. You are responsible for leading your conversations with others. Let your energy compliment the other persons energy when you speak and stay engaged. Last but not least, treat everyone equally.
Peace,
Molly

AUSTRALIA PIC

Molly PaulHey everyone!

Here’s another beautiful picture from my trip to Perth last summer! This was taken at Rottnest Island!

aus

Peace,

Molly

SCUBA

Molly PaulHi Friends,

I’m so happy to say I’m going to be SCUBA certified soon! :) I just completed my first three dives EVER!

Peace,

Molly

IMG_3130 (2)

DR. EWAN PRITCHARD

This is a photo of me with Dr. Pritchard at the FREEDM Systems Center Lab at NCSU’s Centennial Campus. Dr. Pritchard was the first professional to believe in STEM Leadership Camp, his support has been invaluable. My campers had a great time with his grad students last summer.

Peace,

Molly

IMG_2968

SMT AWARD

Molly PaulI’m so honored to win the Student Leadership Award in Science Mathematics and Technology! Watch my award ceremony video here! I didn’t see it until the night of the ceremony but was so happy with the video.  A big thank you to Mr. Simpson, Dr. Trollinger, and the NC SMT Education Center!

Below is a lovely photo of my guests! From left to right: Dr. Koster, Ms. Baird, Dean Holland, and Dr. Pritchard. They are all extremely supportive of me!

IMG_3121

This is a picture of my award and beautiful flowers!

IMG_3126 (2) (3)

Peace,

Molly

IMLS MEDAL

Molly PaulI have good news to share! The NC Museum of Natural Sciences (where I volunteer and ran STEM Leadership Camp last summer) has won the Institute of Museum and Library Service Medal! Dr. Emlyn Koster, Museum Director, generously invited me to travel to DC to accept this award with him from the First Lady. This is the highest national award a museum can receive. I am so grateful for this opportunity!

Here are some media links about the award:

http://www.wral.com/nc-museum-of-natural-sciences-receives-national-award/13590453/

http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/04/24/3808951/nc-museum-of-natural-sciences.html

http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/04/24/3808843/growing-up-in-north-carolinas.html

Peace,
Molly

PIEDMONT BIOFUELS

Molly PaulHello Friends!

I recently visited Lyle Estill at Piedmont Biofules. It was a pleasure to see the facility in action! I learned a ton about the production, chemistry, economics, and use of biofuels. You can instantly feel the company dedication to uplifting the environment!

Here are some photographs of my excursion!

IMG_3081IMG_3083 (2)IMG_3084IMG_3086

Peace,

Molly

DR. GOODALL QUOTE

Molly PaulI feel this speaks for itself. I hope to teach science a little bit differently.

“Women tend to be more intuitive, or to admit to being intuitive, and maybe the hard science approach isn’t so attractive. The way that science is taught is very cold. I would never have become a scientist if I had been taught like that.”

-Dr. Jane Goodall

Peace,

Molly

FUN WITH THE CAMERA TRAP

Molly PaulAll of these photographs are taken in my back yard on a Bushnell Camera Trap. I’m thrilled to share these pics with you! Dr. Roland Kays from the NC Museum of Natural Sciences got me interested in the camera trap!

Below is an opossum. Something is directly above it with glowing eyes and I have no clue what that is. Take a guess for yourself!

M2E1L0-5R350B300

Below we have the ever-illusive Neighborus Feline. I am being entirely facetious, these cats are in my yard all the time.

M2E1L0-6R350B300

Here we have the majestic deer. Trotting the dew kissed grasses of the “wide open plains” we call Raleigh.

M2E1L0-22R350B300

Oppossum part deux.

M2E1L0-5R350B300

Peace,

Molly

CONFLICT SOLUTIONS

Molly PaulResolving conflict, no matter how small or large, is a key aspect of a leader’s job. I thought I would need to teach last year’s campers about how to resolve conflicts (ie. I want x and you want y). To my elation, they were already masters at handling conflict. Any dissent within the group was handled in a mature way that made everyone happy. For those of us that aren’t so lucky, I’d like to take a lesson from these campers.

If a conflict comes up with others, what are ways to solve it in a timely and effective manner?

—- Openly address the problem in a composed, deliberate, and polite fashion.
-—Keep an open mind and acknowledge any mistakes made on your part. Take responsibility.
-—Realize that raising your voice doesn’t get your point across any clearer, instead try re-stating or further explaining why you feel a certain way.
-—Judge the importance of the issue and decide how much of your time it deserves.
-Use “I” statements instead of “you” statements (ex. I want to make progress in this fashion versus You must not want to make any progress).
These are all skills I proudly saw my campers successfully utilize on a daily basis.
Peace,
Molly

SCIENCE FOR GIRLS?

Molly PaulHi Friends!

I want to share an excerpt from the bookScience for Girls?, edited by Alison Kelly. Just to give a little background, the physical sciences are Chemistry and Physics, contrary to Biology as a life science. There are significantly more women and girls interested in Biology than the physical sciences. Personally, I’d love to see a stronger female presence in all of the sciences.

“These three factors- girls lack of self-confidence, the masculine image of science and the impersonal approach of science- are probably chiefly responsible for the failure of physical science to attract girls. All of them can be tackled to a certain extent within the education system, although it is important to realize that the problem of girls in science cannot be divorced from the wider issues of sex stereotyping and women’s position in society.”

Food for thought in the discussion on increasing girl’s participation in the sciences! Throughout my camp, teams for activities are broken up so that girls get experience working in both  co-ed and single sex environments.

Peace,

Molly

EARTH DAY

Molly PaulHello,

I wanted to take a minute to wish everyone a very happy Earth Day! Although we should take care of our planet every day, let’s stop today especially to reflect on how we can improve the global condition of our natural spaces. In addition, let’s be grateful today in particular for all of the wonderful gifts nature gives us!

Peace,
Molly

STEM TO LEAF PIC

Molly PaulHi-ya! Last summer I ran my camp under the name Science Technology Engineering and Math to Leaders Engaged in Affecting the Future (STEM to LEAF). Here is a lovely picture of the students learning how solar panels work!

Peace,

Molly

camppic2

GROUP ENTHUSIASM

Molly PaulHey Friends!

As I’ve said before, leadership is a teachable skill. One skill I try to teach students is about how to engage a group so they work productively on a project. Group enthusiasm. I can tell you, as an adolescent, it is not always easy to get your peers excited. I can tell you, as a camp leader, it is not always easy to get adults excited either.

Here are my leadership tips on how to get people excited about your project or idea:

1. Everyone is so bombarded with messages about how this product or that business model is “different,” when something different actually comes along it’s almost indistinguishable. Do your best to make sure everything is transparent enough other people will be able to see the same value in the project that you do.

2. —As leader, show your own enthusiasm about suggested ideas. Whether or not you believe it, the leader sets the tone of the situation. If you’re excited, it’s easier for others to be excited. I know being Ms./Mr. Excited 24/7 is no one’s dream job. I’m sorry. Do your best.

3. —Express the significance in goals (as well as achievements) so that when they are reached they feel meaningful. This also ties into positive reinforcement. It is your job to make sure the team understands the value in the steps taken and the opportunity available through the next steps they take.

4. —Encourage peers, while still being genuine. No one needs a robotic Barbie or Ken telling them to keep up the good work. Keep it real and honest and the message will be received. Being genuine is a good habit anyways, so why not practice it in school or the workplace?

5. Provide a vision that clearly illustrates the end result. Goal setting. I cannot stress this enough. This isn’t just any goal or mile-marker, this needs to be the queen of all goals. This is the final vision. That’s it. No “we’ll see where this goes” or “close enough.” You need to paint a MASTERPIECE of your final goal and hope others will join in. You can tweak your masterpiece or get a new canvass altogether. However, the final vision (whatever it may be) needs to be the driving force behind your operation. The enthusiasm will follow.

Best of luck in getting others excited about your vision!

Peace,

Molly

PRUDENTIAL SPIRIT OF COMMUNITY AWARDS

Molly PaulPrudential

*photo credit to Prudential Spirit of Community Awards FB page*

Very excited to travel to DC in May to receive this award and represent my state!

Peace,

Molly

TV

Molly PaulHey! I was on local news yesterday and wanted to share the link with everyone. This is where I love to volunteer, so you’ll get to see some clips of me in action! :)

http://abclocal.go.com/wtvd/video?id=9507469

Peace,

Molly

GERM

Molly PaulHi friends!

Please check out my recent article for Germ Magazine!

Peace,

Molly

OCTOPUS

Molly Pauloctopus

This is a sweet photo of an octopus from my student exchange last year to Perth, Australia. It was so beautiful and  I was very lucky to be able to see such a diverse marine environment! The school I attended in Perth had wonderful marine biology and advanced diving classes.

Peace,

Molly

TEACHER APPRECIATION

Molly PaulMy chemistry teacher’s birthday is tomorrow. She is such an inspiration and a joy I am pursuing a more advanced chem class next year! She embodies all of the characteristics I appreciate in teachers. Her depth and breadth of chemistry is thrilling and her passion for the subject shines through in everything she does.

I wanted to take this time to say a thank you to her and all of the unrecognized heroes of the world of education. Teachers are the most integral part of a students learning experience. The teacher makes a difference. Thank you, to my chem teacher and all of the wonderful teachers making the world of STEM a brighter place.

Happy Birthday, Ms. R!

Peace,

Molly

MATH MAGIC

Molly PaulI have always been a firm believer in the JOY that is mathematics! Yes, in the background I hear people moaning and crickets chirping. I also hear the exited chatter of campers who now “get” fractals. Cue the joy!

Math has been a peak in my life. Convincing others math is a joy has been a pit. Yes, the curriculum is science, technology, engineering, and MATH leadership. I would not have included the “M” if I was not confident it would be thoroughly represented in my curriculum. No, math is not “boring.” Yes, students will enjoy it. Yes, I can help facilitate that enjoyment. Watch me!

It was an absolute pleasure to partner with one of the biggest advocates for math I’ve ever met, Dr. Maria Droujkova, to bring math at my camp last summer to life. We had an exciting fractal activity with specimens from the museum! I was thrilled to see how enthusiastic my campers were about math! Dr. Maria loves exploring how children learn math. She explains in an article how babies can essentially do Calculus. She is also a leader with Moebius Noodles, a book series that demonstrates how to teach young children number sense and other math skills in engaging ways!

I was so fortunate to be able to have such a wonderful partner for my camp. Dr. Maria- keep sharing the math magic with youth around the world!

Peace,

Molly

DR. HANNUM

Molly PaulI’m so excited to start my project under the guidance of the talented Kelly Hannum! She is the Director of Global Research Insights at the Center for Creative Leadership. We spoke at the Women’s Leadership Summit and I KNOW she will be a wonderful mentor and coach. I am very confident in our abilities as a team!

Peace,

Molly

COMING SOON

Molly PaulHi! I’m having the best time working on a video to share with you that elaborates on my Climb 365 goal and journey thus far. So in the meantime, enjoy one of my favorite pictures from my recent trip to Cambodia, where I went with the Tabitha Foundation to help build homes. Cambodia was wonderful and challenged me to go outside my comfort zone by having new experiences and meeting new people. I loved being able to spend time in a different culture.

Peace,

Molly

419

HAVE YOU BEEN OUTSIDE TODAY?

Molly PaulHere’s a link with benefits of being outdoors more.

I try to further expose youth to the joys of nature through my camp, in the hopes they will become good stewards themselves. I am fortunate to be able to witness so many young people making positive change in their communities.

Peace,

Molly

SHOUT OUT TO DR. GOODALL

Molly PaulLast Thursday (April 3rd) was the legendary Dr. Jane Goodall’s 80th birthday! If you support women, you’ll love Jane. If you like animals, you’ll love Jane. If you like children, you’ll love Jane. If you like all that is good in the world, YOU’LL LOVE JANE! This is the link to her birthday celebration, where the whole world tuned in to thank her for being her inspiring, outstanding, groundbreaking, heart-warming self:http://www.janegoodall.org/80yearsofjane

As a budding scientist and woman, I love Jane and everything she has come to encompass. I could talk about her all day, so I’m sure I’ll write more about her later! :)

Here’s a good link to the top reasons she is fantastic:  http://www.animalplanet.com/tv-shows/jane-goodall/photos/jane-goodall-birthday.htm

Peace,

Molly

PICS FROM FRIDAY

Molly PaulHey! It’s sort of hard to beat the awesome day I had Friday, so enjoy these pictures of me enjoying the conference!

Peace,

Molly

unnamed (2)2 (2)1 (3)

HELLO FRIENDS!

Molly PaulWhoa! Big shout out to everyone at JLG! I felt so welcomed and loved at your wonderful conference! I have so many thoughtful female role models at JLG I’m beginning lose count. Everything started last Friday at the 4th Annual Women’s Leadership Summit with a delicious lunch. Some talented Cone Elementary students sang to us, one even gave a speech about wanting to be a pediatrician (yay girls pursuing science careers!!). I was then honored alongside the four other lovely ladies who were honorees. Everyone was so generous and kind! I got to listen to the innovative Cynthia Bay discuss her Krispy Kreme turn around, what a hard-working woman! I also had the privilege of listening to Jenna Bush Hager discuss the life-changing work she has been doing with the underserved in Latin America. She gave a very powerful and moving speech!

Overall Friday was definitely one of the most exciting day’s I’ve had in a very long time! I look forward to starting this journey with YOU! Make sure to check back!

Peace,

Molly

A STEM JOURNEY

Molly PaulHi everyone! My name is Molly and I attend Saint Mary’s School in Raleigh, NC. When I was a young 7th grader I started a STEM Leadership Camp. I have always loved science and combined the best of various camps I attended to create my curriculum. I also added something new. The common thread throughout camp was leadership. Most of my peers were bright but lacked basic leadership skills. Most of my teachers did not address leadership as a teachable skill. It is widely known nowadays that leadership can be taught, but very few schools teach it or even identify it as a type of giftedness. I wanted to teach my peers how to be leaders in what is arguably the most growing industry in the world.

My camp failed twice. It flat out failed. People were mostly confused about why someone who was 12 had created a good curriculum and thought she had the wherewithal to execute it. I pitched my camp idea to a third institution, the NC Museum of Natural Sciences, where I was a volunteer. The camp successfully ran summer of 2013 and is scheduled again for 2014.

I want to make my camp curriculum available to everyone. Every teacher, camp counselor, troop leader, and student should be able to access online materials about STEM and leadership. This is where Climb 365 comes in. I want my camp curriculum to become available for everyone on the Internet. My website will include fun activities, guest speakers, and my own tips on how to be a good leader. My goal is to make my STEM Leadership curriculum available to everyone. I hope you all will join me on my journey!

Peace,

Molly