07 Dec 2015 – STEM Event Support at UCCS
On Monday December 7, two STS volunteers, Ashley Sanks and Jaime Socotch travelled to UCCS to act as role models for local middle school girls from Pikes Peak Region school districts, and to spur girls’ interest and promote increased participation of girls and women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields. The 355 young ladies divided between 22 different engaging, hands-on workshops, designed to encourage the girls to undertake and excel in STEM fields. Workshops topics ranged from NASA to robotics. Put on by The Southern Colorado Girl’s STEM Initiative (SCGSI), there is no cost to the students for this program. Funding is provided by local organizations that support girls and STEM learning.
Jaime was the ambassador of two different groups at the NASA workshop; ‘I Went to Space Without a Spacesuit.’ There, the girls learned about pressure and the atmosphere from a female employee of NASA and were challenged to create a spacesuit and a rocket that would save a marshmallow peep from being pressurized (simulating what would happen to the human body without properly designed equipment for space travel). The girls also learned about future NASA launch plans from the Moon to Mars!
Ashley was the ambassador of two different groups as well, and assisted 3 Air Force personnel in their Lego-robotics course. Between the two sessions, 40 girls came in ready and excited to build their robot. The girls were then able to program software onto it and watch it drive around a course. “It was truly amazing to see these young girls take on this
challenge and work through it to create robots in under an hour. I believe that the Southern Colorado Girls’ STEM Project in tandem with UCCS is going to be a driving factor in the increase of girls in STEM programs, and eventually careers in the future” said Ashley.
After the workshops, the girls ate lunch with the role models and participated in an exercise to identify top goals for their lives and the steps they need to take to accomplish them. Ashley and Jaime spoke to the girls about their plans for college and answered many questions about their concerns for everything from financing, to navigating campus. It was an amazing science filled day, and a great volunteer event for the STS, and learning opportunity for the girls.