Middle School Girls - Aspiring Engineers
What do you get when you put forty 7th and 8th grade girls in a room with some pasta, pennies, marshmallows, and a bunch of engineers? Miniature suspension bridges built during the G.I.G.A.W.O.T. (Girls Inspired Greatly About the World of Technology) summer camp!
IBM hosted the 4-day camp at their Coppell sales senter with the goal of showing the girls how math, science, and technology play an important role in their lives. According to Jo Ann Hill, "Research shows that girls lose interest in math and science during their middle school years. The camp uses TRYScience.org experiments, exciting projects, educational games, and a fun-filled, enlightening field trip to illuminate the minds of the young girls who attend."
Jo Lynn Golden, a retired IBMer came back to help with the camp, "Designing and building the bridge was just one of our many activities. Others included 'Bubblegum Madness,' the 'Cinderella Project,' and the 'Amusement Park Ride' where the girls actually build a padded seat for an egg then crash-test it in a vehicle for safety. One of the highlights on Day 3 included a tour of the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) Motion Capture Lab."
Coppell Middle School North student Emaan Majad enjoyed learning about pressure points of the foot and building the shoe as part of the "Cinderella Project' but according to Coppell Middle School West student Rachel Hall, "The most interesting part for me was building the hydrogen and solar powered car."