FAQ

About Duke GALS North Carolina

Acceptance Criteria

Application Process

I have other questions that aren’t answered here. How can I get an answer?


About Duke GALS North Carolina

  • When will GALS 2018 be held?
    • Duke GALS North Carolina will be held on June 12-26, 2018. Dates for the other programs will be announced soon – check their websites for more details on these programs.
  • Is GALS free?
    • Yes, GALS is free for all participants.
  • What are the age requirements for GALS?
    • GALS participants should be either (1) currently in 8-12th grade or (2) earning a GED and 18 or younger.
  • How many students are on each trip?
    • Each trip consists of 8 students and 2 instructors.
  • Do I need previous science experience?
    • No previous science experiences are necessary. You just need to come with a desire to learn about the science of the environment surrounding you.
  • What is backpacking?
    • Backpacking is hiking with all the gear that you need to camp on your back. You will pack your clothes, food (about 4 days worth), toiletries, tent, stove, and all other gear that you need in the backpack that you carry around.  For our trips, you can expect your backpack to weigh about 35-40 lbs.  It may feel heavy at first, but you’ll get used to it and learn to carry it like a champ.
  • Do I need previous hiking or backpacking experience?
    • No previous hiking or backpacking experience is necessary. We will teach you all the skills that you need.  You just need to come with a willingness to learn the outdoor skills.
  • What if I don’t have any backpacking gear?
    • Don’t let this stop you from applying. We can lend you all the gear that you’ll need for GALS so that you don’t need to buy anything.
  • How can I train for the physical challenges of GALS?
    • You should try to engage in cardio exercise about 3 times a week for the few months leading up to GALS. We suggest running, biking, hiking, and long walks around your neighborhood.

Acceptance Criteria

  • I’ve never done anything like GALS. Should I apply?
    • Yes! GALS wants to provide hands-on, outdoor science opportunities to people who haven’t had them. If you haven’t done anything like GALS but it sounds up your alley, apply!
  • Will my GPA affect my acceptance into GALS?
    • No, we do not take GPA into account when deciding who to accept for GALS. Selection is based upon motivation, interest for science, and a team spirit.
  • I don’t think I’m very good at science, and I don’t have good grades in my science classes, but I think science is fun. Is this a good program for me?
    • Yes! Everyone can do science! If you are excited about the idea of doing hands-on science out in the woods, then this is the program for you – it doesn’t matter to us what grades you receive in the classroom. We will help build your confidence in science: We will explore the scientific method, how to design experiments, and how to analyze data. We believe that the best way to learn is to do, and the best place to learn about science is outside – with your sleeves rolled up!
  • I don’t identify as female, but I don’t identify as male either. Can I apply?
    • Yes! The number one goal of GALS is to increase outdoor science opportunities for groups that are underrepresented in science – especially with respect to gender identity, race or ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. We encourage anyone who doesn’t identify as male to apply.
  • Do I need to be from the specific state where the program is offered to apply?
    • No, but keep in mind that you must be able to travel to and from the meeting location for the start and end of the program and that preference will be given to students from the state where the program is located.
  • My parents may not be able to drive me to and from the meeting location for the program. Are there any other options for me?
    • Yes, if there is need, GALS may be able to arrange pick-up for participants prior to the start of the program. Please contact us directly to discuss your particular situation.
  • Can my parents be reimbursed for driving me to the meeting location?
    • Yes, we can reimburse parents for the cost of gas for transportation to and from the meeting location. Please contact us directly to discuss the steps for getting a gas reimbursement. You will then be responsible for following-up with the necessary information for us to process the reimbursement.

Application Process

    • When are applications due?
      • Applications will be due March 15. Recommendations are due March 22.
    • What if I don’t have access to a computer to complete the online application?
      • If you do not have access to the online application, please let us know.  We are happy to provide you with a hard-copy of the application questions, and you can submit the application by mailing it in.
    • Who should write my letters of recommendation?
      • Adults that know you well and have seen you in an academic, leadership, or outdoor environment. This could mean a science teacher, an English teacher, a soccer coach, a camp director, a boss at your job, etc. We want to hear from someone who knows you well – and why you would learn and grow from a program like GALS.
      • When you decide who you want to write your letters, you should ask them in person or over email if they are willing to write letters for you. Provide them with information about the program, why you want to do it, and why you are a good fit for it. Also make sure to tell them when the letter is due and how to submit it.
    • Do you accept late applications?
      • No, we do not accept late applications. GALS applications open in December and close in March – that gives you 3 months to complete the application. We suggest submitting the application a few days before they’re due in case of technological issues or unforeseen circumstances that might arise.
    • When do I find out if I was accepted?
      • We will email your application status by April 15. We are working hard to expand our program, but unfortunately we can’t accept everyone who applies. If you are not accepted this year, we encourage you to apply again next year, and to see if there are other science opportunities available in your area.
    • I was asked to write a letter of recommendation. What should I include?
      • Once your recommendee submits the application, you will receive an e-mail with a link to the recommendation form.  This contains specific questions for you to answer.
      • We want to hear about why you think your recommendee is a perfect fit for GALS. What will they bring to GALS?  And, equally important, how will they benefit from GALS?  We use these letters of recommendations to get a better sense of who the students are.  The more details you can tell us about your recommendee (especially personal stories), the more we can get to know them.

I have other questions that aren’t answered here. How can I get an answer?

If you have questions about GALS North Carolina, send an e-mail to info.nc@sciencegals.org, and we will answer your questions.

If you have questions about GALS NM/TX, send an email to wboeing@sciencegals.org.

If you have questions about GALS CA, send an email to goals.ucdavis@gmail.com.

If you have questions about other GALS programs, check later for contact information.