Can you build an eight-foot-high structure out of gumdrops and toothpicks that can hold the weight of an extra large candy bar? The girls from Roosevelt International Baccalaureate Middle School were tasked with this as part of the Women In Engineering Day at San Diego High School. The girls were mentored in the task by a female high school student from the GeoTech Academy, a California Partnership Academy, at the School of Science and Technology at San Diego High. The event was organized and supported by the Society of Women Engineers.
heard from a panel of engineers from various disciplines before
embarking on their hands-on activities. The first focused on having
steady hands while assembly a circuit to light an LED light. The second
was the gum drop tower. A twist was added to the task during
construction – no members of the team could talk while assembling their
tower. The girls then toured the Solar Turbines facility in Kearny Mesa
to learn about gas turbines.
Most of the Roosevelt girls have already been participating in STEM
related clubs at Roosevelt – Girls in Science Club and TreoBytes. The
Girls in Science Club is a collaboration between the San Diego Zoo and
Roosevelt. Each week, students learn about a myriad of animal related
topics including habitat loss, conservation, animal behaviors and
captive breeding. In addition to behind the scenes views of the animals
and their keepers, they get to meet a variety of women working at the
zoo and hear about their career paths and how qualities such as
compassion, tenacity and hard work helped them to land their dream jobs.
TreoBytes makes technology accessible to kids and provides a learning
environment outside of the traditional school where kids can become
more comfortable with technology, develop their own game concepts in a
team environment and learn the basics of programming, social media and
design. Roosevelt students are working to create, develop and launch a
crowdsourcing campaign for Good Neighbor Garden, a community partner.
Students are learning project management skills, critical thinking,
collaboration and business development.
The Society of Women Engineers is a not-for-profit educational and
service organization that empowers women to succeed and advance in the
field of engineering. Founded in 1950, the society is the driving force
that establishes engineering as a highly desirable career for women.