Big Bear High School students Melissa Ellis and Kelly Mount are going to the zoo.

The Big Bear High School students were selected by the Big Bear Valley American Association of University Women to participate in The Zoo Experience, the first-ever STEM program at the Big Bear Alpine Zoo. The one-week, internship-style day camp is July 16-20, coinciding with National Zookeepers Week.

Ellis and Mount have the opportunity to work with zookeepers and learn animal science while keeping a journal and photographing their experiences for a daily blog.

The Zoo Experience programs seek to break through barriers for women and girls in science, technology, engineering and math, while exposing them to careers in the field of zoological sciences.

Women account for a minority of managerial positions in zoos. AAUW is dedicated to inspiring women to become leaders and opening their minds to STEM fields they may not have considered for careers.

The Big Bear community can check out Ellis and Mount’s daily blog posts about their experience at

www.bigbearvalleyaauw.blogspot.com. Posts will go live by 6 p.m. each day between July 16 and 20.

There is also a culmination event on July 20 from 3 to 4 p.m. at the Big Bear Alpine Zoo. Zoo admission is required, so come early or stay late to enjoy the zoo in addition to the Zoo Experience event.

AAUW’s mission is to advance equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy and research. Donations to The Zoo Experience can be made by sending checks to BBVAAUW, P.O. Box 793, Big Bear Lake, CA 92315.

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