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The Hour

Former Brien McMahon principal wins AARP Purpose Prize for work post-retirement
Published October 27, 2017

Amazing Girls Science founder Cynthia Barnett has always had big post-retirement goals. When she first left her position as an assistant principal at Brien McMahon High School, Barnett considered becoming a life coach for others trying to find their callings after their first career.

Instead, after decades in Norwalk Public Schools, she found her own calling, increasingly dedicating her time to working with girls in the sciences — decyphering code, decoding cyphers and learning about circuits, robots, teamwork and self-confidence.

“This is the perfect time for us to give back because most of our children are gone. We don’t have the commitments that we used to have,” she said. “So people can look at what’s next in life, and look at their commitment to give back.”

On Oct. 24, the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) recognized her “encore career” by awarding her the Purpose Prize, which comes with a $50,000 award.

Read the complete article »

Science camp empowers girls through invention
Published July 18, 2016

The girls at Camp Invention don’t mess around.

They strung together beads with little 0s and 1s — and used binary code to make a message. They created solar-powered crickets that hopped in the sun. They put on protective goggles and, armed with screw drivers and wire cutters, took apart computers and built inventions.

“I want to create things and express my ideas where no one can tell me my ideas are wrong,” said Katie Romana, 9, one of 40 girls participating in the program.

Aspirations like Katie’s are a part of what Camp Invention is about — empowering girls in grades first through sixth to pursue the sciences and be confident in their own creative abilities. The camp was started last year by former Norwalk Public Schools employee Cynthia BarnettRead the complete article »

Girls have fun with science at Saturday Academy conference
Published October 17, 2015

If the goal of the organizers of the Saturday Academy, Inc. conference at NCC on Saturday was to get girls excited about science, they clearly hit their target with 9-year-old Zoe.

“Did you know that when you’re in space you grow two inches taller? That’s because of the air pressure,” Zoe said. “The best part of this is having fun while we’re learning.”

Zoe was one of more than 100 girls in grades 3 to 8 who participated in Dr. Cynthia Barnett’s “Amazing Girls Science: Space Phenomena” technology conference. Read the complete article »

Norwalk Citizen

Local girls experiment with science
Published April 6, 2011

Saturday Academy, Inc. hosted a science festival on Saturday at Norwalk Community College East Campus. Saturday Academy is a nonprofit organization that provides scientific and educational enrichment programs designed to promote an interest in science and technology among young women in grades 5 through 8. Read the complete article »