This past Thursday, Science Club for Girls held their end of summer showcase. On Thursday evening, the nine girls of SCFG’s Young Leaders in STEM summer program joined their mentors and SCFG members to present what they had learned over the course the the program’s six-weeks. These six weeks included learning new topics in STEM, applying this knowledge in activities, working with mentors, and going on field trips to visit local businesses and organizations relevant to the topics being learned.
During the course of the evening, visitors to the end of summer showcase were encouraged to interact with the girls as they presented what they had learned through various hands-on activities. The girls separated into five sections to teach five different STEM-related topics to visitors. In algorithms as art visitors pretended to be a computer fulfilling rules set by the girls so as to create various artistic outcomes. To learn about civil engineering visitors were able to build bridges out of common materials such as newspaper and masking tape. Environmental engineering was explained through the real-life scenario of a hazardous waste spill as the girls revealed how they would tackle cleaning up the toxic waste. The girls also demonstrated knowledge of transgenes and DNA by showing visitors how to separate DNA from the cells of bananas. Finally, oceanography was explored as the girls taught visitors how to determine the depth of a body of water.
The evening ended with the girls presenting these topics and discussing the different activities and field trips in more detail. Over the course of the summer, these girls were able to visit Bocoup, a technology company for programers, the Waterworks Museum, and Emerson College. They were also able to tour the Zakim Bridge and other bridges in Boston to learn about civil engineering in the real world and go sailing in Portsmouth, New Hampshire to apply what they had learned about oceanography. These field trips were shown to be important not only because they helped the girls to apply what they were learning but because they helped the girls to better understand possible careers in STEM and paths they could choose to follow in college and beyond. Each girl was able to articulate a possible career or college major that they had not previously considered, or even known to exist, and each was incredibly passionate about the possibility of exploring these careers.
Further, the final presentations of the evening showed that SCFG does far more than teach STEM. Activities required girls to learn how to budget projects and pitch ideas and solutions to receive grant funding. They also learned how to confidently present their work as well as how to teach others what they had learned in a clear and interesting manner. These Young Leaders in STEM participants are passionate, intelligent, and very impressive. When asked about their experience with SCFG this summer, all expressed their love of the program and their gratitude to SCFG for giving them the opportunity to find fun in teamwork and learn more about possible futures.