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Annual STEM4Girls Day!
Saturday May 20th, 2017, 9:00am-2:00pm EST

On May 20th 2017, the Kaput Center for Research and Innovation in STEM Education will be hosting the 7th annual STEM outreach event called STEM4Girls Day at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. This free event is open to all girls 10-15 years old who want to learn about and participate in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields, including Environmental Science, Computer Programming, Robotics, and more.

Below, you will find an agenda for the day as well as an overview of last years workshops. Lunch will be provided for the girls. Get ready for a Saturday filled with fun and excitement as you engage with inspiring faculty and local scientists!

Agenda for the day

  • 8:30-9:00am Check In (at the flagpoles on campus; follow the signs upon entrance to campus)
  • 9:00-10:00am Welcome and Kick-Off
  • 10:00-11:00am Workshop Session #1
  • 11:00am-12:00pm Workshop Session #2
  • 12:00pm-1:00pm Lunch
  • 1:00pm-2:00pm Panel Discussion with the girls
  • 2:00pm-2:15pm Closing
  • 2:15pm-2:30pm Check-Out and Departure

2016 Workshops

Creating Mobile Apps
Presenter: Ryan Robidoux & Sarah Lombardi
In this workshop, you will learn how to program your phone to react to your movements and even recognize voice commands! Using tablet devices, you will create Android apps using App Inventor. The best part? The apps you make will run on any Android phone or tablet!

Snacking on Statistics
Presenter: Kristina Monteiro, URI & Mike Savaria, UMass Dartmouth
To begin, we will ask students to circle their favorite candy color on the top of a worksheet and to share with the large group which color they chose as their favorite. Then we’ll introduce the activity: how to determine which of the types of candy has the most of their favorite color in the packet. We will then break students into pairs or smaller groups. Each small group will be provided with a snack size packet of M&Ms, a snack size packet of Skittles, and a roll of Smarties. They will also be provided with a worksheet to record their data. One type of candy at a time, we will ask students to count the number of colors within the packet. For example, students will open the packet of M&Ms and then record the number of blue, red, green, etc. Students will then open the Skittles and do the same, followed by the Smarties. Once students have recorded all of the data on their worksheet, we will ask one student from each group to come to the board and record their counts and another student to discard the opened candy (with a promise they will be able to take some home with them!). We will then return to a large group to talk about how to calculate a percent. This is when students will determine which of the packets contains the highest frequency of their favorite color. If time allows, we may also introduce topics such as histograms and pie charts.

Properties of Matters
Presenter: Dr. Christian M. Petitpas & Jennifer Larkum, UMass Dartmouth
Everything around us is made of stuff called matter. Matter is anything that has mass and takes up space, but not all matter is the same. Different kinds of matter can have different observable characteristics, or “properties”. Because every possible kind of matter possesses a unique set of properties that allows us to tell it apart from every other kind of matter, we can characterize matter to help us understand how it behaves in nature and how we can use the matter in our everyday lives. In this hands-on workshop, girls will investigate and discover the properties of matter by using their senses to observe such properties as color, texture, odor and transparency, as well as more complex properties such as density, viscosity, and pH. It would be a hands-on workshop exploring different types of matter and discussing why their different properties are important both in nature and in how we use them.

Water Cycle: Water’s Wordly Wandering
Presenter: Science from Scientists
In this lesson, students will play an interactive game that demonstrates how water cycles through different forms, states of matter, and locations on Earth and in the Earth’s atmosphere. Students will act as water molecules and follow water’s journey as it moves through this very important, endless cycle!

Populations: Exploring our Ever-changing Ecosystems
Presenter: Science from Scientists
This lesson introduces and discusses a wide variety of ecological and population-related concepts including carrying capacity, natural population fluctuations, and the “tragedy of the commons”. Students will take part in an interactive “ecosystem” and experience first-hand what happens to populations over time!

Science Outisde Your Back Door
Presenter: Dr. Stephen Witzig and Dr. Shakhnoza Kayumova, UMass Dartmouth
Participants will engage in a scientific investigation outside on the grounds of UMass Dartmouth. The investigation will involve the scientific practices outlined in the Next Generation Science Standards including asking questions, developing and using models, analyzing and interpreting data, and constructing evidenced-based explanations.

Make Your Own Video Game
Presenter: Sheila Porter, Harmonix Music Systems
Want to know how video games work? We’re going to take one apart, look at the pieces, and use them to build our own. When we’re done, you’ll be able to bring your game home, share it with friends, and keep working on it as much as you want. This workshop will use Scratch, a powerful and easy-to-learn game creation tool developed by MIT. No experience necessary!

Chromatography: Investigating & Interpreting Ink
Presenter: Science from Scientists
Students will learn about chromatography in general and complete their own paper chromatography analysis to explore the composition of various inks. We begin with a discussion about chromatography and its various forms and explain how this powerful tool can help distinguish between two or more compounds. Real scientists can use chromatography to solve crimes, identify counterfeit money and paintings, analyse DNA, and learn about a material’s origin!

Viscosity: Figuring Out Fluid Friction
Presenters: Science from Scientists
Students investigate viscosity (also called “fluid friction”) by using falling sphere viscometers to examine the speed at which a marble drops through tubes of common liquids with varying viscosities. Students hypothesize about how long it will take a metal marble to travel through each fluid and make predictions about how viscous each one is compared to the others. The effect of temperature and molecule size on viscosity will also be discussed.

Electricity: Constructing Conductive Circuits
Presenter: Science from Scientists
This lesson is an introduction to electricity, circuits, and the properties of different materials in relation to electricity. Students will build their own basic circuit, test the conductivity/insulation of different materials, and learn about the importance of electricity in our daily lives.

Engineering a Robot to Solve a Rubik’s Cube
Presenter: Paul Fredette, Promptus Communications
Ruku Robot will be available to unscrambled Rubik’s Cubes. The workshop will review the engineering, construction and use of Ruku the Robot and discuss a number of topics in Math and Engineering associated with the solution. We will explore a host of engineering topics in computer programming, motion control and mechatronics. Information on building your own Ruku will be supplied.

Working With Red Cabbage
Presenter: Dr. Shakhnoza Kayumova and Ana Heureux, UMass Dartmouth
Working with Red Cabbage: An introduction to acids and bases. Students will utilize everyday objects to explore science and engineering concepts and practices.

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