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Our second week of Duke Engage: Orange County was our first complete week of synchronous work, and the focus was primarily on engaging in training with Girls Inc. On Monday, our session emphasized team bonding–I’d connected with my Duke Engage/intern peers via Zoom a few times before, but it felt important to put faces to the names of the Girls Inc. staffers with whom we’d been emailing and would be working for the rest of the summer. Each of the coordinators and directors who introduced themselves and facilitated our training sessions all week were extraordinarily welcoming and kind, and the manner in which they led our training sessions provided a strong example for us to follow as we look towards facilitating our own STEM lesson plans with campers in the future. Tuesday’s training clarified this even further, as we learned about Girls Inc.’s best practices for facilitating educational content online and creating discussion questions that push the Experiential Learning Cycle forward.

On Wednesday, the session focus was on Girls Inc.’s internal policies for Mandated Reporters for Child Abuse and Neglect, and we practiced identifying red flags for child abuse and neglect and how we would engage with and protect a girl who disclosed concerning information about her physical, sexual, or emotional safety at home. It was interesting to compare the lengthy California general training modules and exam we’d completed earlier in the day with the comparatively shallow Mandated Reporter certification I’d undergone previously in Tennessee, and I was relieved by the seriousness with which Girls Inc. and CA take that role, although it’s unclear to me why a national standard for that training and penal code doesn’t exist. Thursday’s training and tasks and Friday’s reflection were lighter in subject, with STEM lesson planning, facilitating, and brainstorming (and lots more recruitment emailing, this time for Eureka! camp itself) as the main goal. I’m looking forward to synthesizing curriculum and developing my presentation on digital footprints and data privacy next week, and to continuing our racial affinity group dialogue and equity workshops with 1619 Consulting.