This past weekend, I (Kristy Lee) worked at the Keystone Science School for their Girls in STEM program. The Girls In STEM program’s goal is to empower girls and build leadership and collaboration skills through the STEM arts (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). We had about 30 3rd-7th grade girls for a full Saturday. What an adventure!
This weekend’s theme was Maximizing Momentum and the girls completed 3 projects that focused on that theme. Each project taught about momentum, as well as fostered engineering skills, critical thinking, problem solving, mathematics, collaboration and team building.
For the first project, we created a paint pendulum and studied how the pendulum would create different patterns in the paint. We learned how to manipulate those patterns by adjusting the pendulum’s momentum, trajectory and potential energy. I personally loved this one, as I found the mathematical patterns created by the pendulum beautiful and mesmerizing.
For the second project, the girls were put into teams and each team created a catapult. Each catapult was then tested for distance, force and accuracy using different ammunitions using a target and measuring tape. We may have also tested out who could get it up to the ceiling as well…
For the third project, the girls created a ballon powered car. Not as easy as you might think! Not all the teams were able to actually make the car move…but nonetheless super fun to make!
The Girls in STEM program was created to foster growth in the science, technology, engineering and math arenas. In a safe environment free of stereotype and cultural influence, the girls can explore these areas. Culturally, we are often taught that girls are less adept in these sciences. I personally do not believe this to be true and would love to see more female programmers, women engineers and scientists!