AAUW Supports Tech Savvy Program in Jamestown

The American Association of University Woman (AAUW) are supporting the Tech Savvy event in Jamestown on January 5, 2015 to support and nurture 7th and 8th grade girl’s interest in the STEM fields, these numbering near 200.

The full-day event will be held at the University of Jamestown and will include opportunities for parents to participate.

Workshops include:

  1. Rockets to the Rescue: Design and build an aerodynamic food transportation device that can deliver a payload of nutritious food to disaster victims.
  2. Magic from the Cabbage Patch: Chemistry is all around us. Students will be using cabbage juice as an indicator to explore the pH of common of common solutions all around us. The results create an amazing palette of color.
  3. Parachute Design: What makes the best parachute design? Students are asked to design a light-weight parachute system giving challenging constraints. Experimenting and data collection are the themes of this session.
  4. Roller Coaster Physics: Students experiment with roller coaster design using the Pitsco system of balls rollin in channeled rubber tracks that can be arranged in ramps, loops, and cork-screw.
  5. Every Seed Counts – Technology in the Corn Field: Farmers are on the cutting edge of new technology. Students will use an iPad to calculate quantities of seed and fertilizer to optimize the field’s potential yield.
  6. Go, Go, H2O: Student will learn about water and how it impacts our daily lives and the food we eat. Hands-on activity with an erosion model.
  7. Birds of a Feather:  Wildlife Field Biologists focus on birds. Students will use their observation skills and be a detective, using a smartphone app to identify birds. Learn how migratory pathways are tracked using technology.
  8. Crack the Computer Code: Anyone can learn the basic concepts of Computer Science and how to create and read computer code. Go online for fun activities on Code Studio.
  9. Soil Health Check-up: Anyone can learn the basic concepts of computer Science and how to create and read computer code. Go online for fun activities on Code Studio.
  10. Work Smarter, Not Harder: Explore industrial engineering and how each improvement, whether big or small can make a job easier with a hands-on cookie factory.
  11. Have your DNA and Eat it Too: Learn about DNA by making edible models of the double helix using licorice as the backbone and mini-marshmallows.
  12. Probing the Nano World: Student will explore selected activities of the Nano Infusion Project
  13. Polymers: Here, There, and Everywhere: What do the following have in common: bullet-proof vests,  toothbrush bristles, nail paint, takeout food container and hairspray? Explore the fascinating world of polymers through fun experiments and learn that polymers are indeed everywhere!
  14. Bridge Builder 101: Learn about the types of bridges and get hands-on experience being a bridge designer and builder.
  15. On See Small: Exploring the atomic works requires sophisticated technology. Students will connect to a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) at NDSU using high-bandwidth connectivity to NDSU.
  16. Art+STEM=STEAM: Combine creativity, shapes, color and vision to create 2-D and 3-D shapes in hands-on exploration in this integrated art and math hands 0n session.
  17. Regrowing the Tundra: Learn about the ways to restore the ecological crisis cause by over population of less snow gees in the arctic tundra. Hands on activities include planting times that grow in the arctic tundra.

Dr. Heidi Manning from Concordia will be presenting on her work with NASA and the Mars Rover mission.

The Great Plains STEM Education Center is co-hosting the event in its design and implementation, GPSEC’s DeMuth serving on the planning board, where he asked “What about the boys?”

Albeit the drastic gender imbalances in the STEM disciplines, particularly those related to computer science (see related posting), pulling the 7th and 8th grade girls out of school on that day posed a problem to the boys?  Could we run a parallel event where the 7th and 8th grade boys be immersed in integrative STEM strategies? Could that event work toward evidencing to boys the role woman have in the STEM disciplines?

For the boys, the day in Jamestown will start out with a conversation with Dr. Heidi Manning, professor from Concordia in Minnesota, who will describe her role with NASA on the exploration of Mars. Then in groups of 15, students will be engaging in hands-on activities in 50 minute sessions, twice, breaking for lunch, then completing another 50 minute STEM session.

The day will be capped with a perspective from Carrie Leopold from the InspireLab on how growing boys can contribute and support to the success of their female classmates.

Session descriptions for the boys can be found as: http://stem.vcsu.edu/blog/stemtastic-jamestown-what-about-the-boys/

More on this AAUW event can be found as: http://www.growingjamestown.com/events/techsavvy-jamestown/

Contact David DeMuth with questions.


Professor of Physics, Director of Undergraduate Research, STEM Consultant, STEAM Practitioner