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FMS and SMS Girls Grow, Nurture Interests in STEM Field

Inspiration and empowerment were underlying goals of the Girls’ STEM Experience at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs Feb. 1. Students from Falcon Middle School and Skyview Middle School attended the event which was organized to encourage middle school girls to choose careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).

Girls send their doll over the edge during the Bungee Barbie experiment at the Girls' STEM Experience at UCCS Feb. 1.

 

“I see a lot of value in getting girls to open their eyes to something new,” shared Lindy Bachman, science teacher at Skyview Middle School. “Middle school is usually where interest in these areas begins to decrease for girls. I hope today can help change that.”

 

The day’s festivities included a keynote speaker and a series of interactive workshops. Hands-on activities highlighted dynamic experiments that taught engineering, chemistry and physics lessons.

 

Girls could choose from 16 breakout sessions such as Bungee Barbie, Illuminate Art, Physics of Bottle Flipping, LEGO Robots and Squishy Circuits.

 

Attending the event was a reward in itself. Only 300 middle school girls from the Pikes Peak Region could participate, so students had to be selected by teachers to attend.

 

“I had to write an essay to be chosen,” said Lillian Tousley, 12, seventh-grader at SMS. “I wanted to come because I like the science of the brain. Someday, I want to find a cure for schizophrenia.”

 

Besides learning from hands-on opportunities, Dr. Meagan Pollock, engineer, entrepreneur and educator, shared a presentation. Pollock encouraged the girls to choose and succeed on a path that few females are selecting today.

 

“Today I was able to learn about stuff that will be beneficial later in life if I decide to go into a STEM career,” stated Naomi Lovitt, 12, seventh-grader at SMS. “It’s been inspiring to hear what women are doing now. Hopefully, someday I’ll be able to invent something or go into computer science.”


Sydney Newberg, 13, seventh-grader at SMS, lights up her artwork at a session at the Girls' STEM Experience at UCCS Feb. 1.  . Naomi Lovitt, 12, seventh-grader at SMS, assembles her circuit at the Girls' STEM Experience at UCCS Feb. 1.  . Liz Maxwell, 13, seventh-grader at FMS, gets help programming her robot at the Girls' STEM Experience at UCCS Feb. 1.

 

Amy Matisek
amatisek@d49.org
719-495-1149, ext. 2136