STEM Women Speaker Series

lscHave you heard that encouraging your girls to play with Legos and building blocks will help her develop her skills in science?  Perhaps you’ve already bought her a few Lego sets and even enrolled her in a summer science camp. The great news is that little girls love science because of the excitement of discovering something new.

But when your little girl today grows up and starts applying to colleges tomorrow will she choose a science and engineering career path? A majority of girls say that want a career that will help other people and ultimately change the world. Besides, isn’t Howard Wolowitz on Big Bang Theory an engineer? Engineering sounds so boring and far from an amazing world-changing career, right?

Recently, I was invited to share my journey at an event for students wanting to learn more about careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). The event had many amazing female speakers who inspired me with their stories as well!

stem-event-kingwood

I spoke to the students about:

  • why I chose engineering
  • what an engineer is
  • how to succeed in college
  • why I believe that engineers are changing the world

It is my firm belief that a little girl out there needs to be encouraged to at least consider engineering as an exciting career path. She could use her artistic creativity to think outside the box and one day use that creativity to solve our world’s most challenging problems.

And consider this… perhaps that little girl is your daughter.

I encourage you to listen to my talk below with her.  Let her know there are women out there in these fields and that they want to encourage her on that path to change our world.

No one said solving the world’s problems would be easy, but who better to do it than us girls?

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Categories: lovely conversations, spatial skills, STEM, thoughts of a girl engineer Tags: ,
5 Words to Never Say to a Girl in STEM

5 wordsDon’t be hard on yourself.

Us girls are hard on ourselves. The worst thing you can say to a girl taking classes in STEM  (science, technology, engineering, and math) and who is already worried about her grades is “don’t be hard on yourself”.

She is worried about her GPA, she will be critical of herself, and those 5 words are not helpful.

What is helpful though are these 3 words: Give yourself space.  I hope you tell your daughters these words because it resonated with me as a student.  Those 3 words are liberating.

Give yourself space to make mistakes.

Give yourself space to make a B.

Give yourself space to learn, to take on challenges, to grow.

I tell myself those 3 words everyday even as a mom. When I think, “Am I giving them enough activities? Are they in front of the TV too much? Am I a good mom?” I come back to those 3 words and I give myself some space to learn.

We are all here to learn – we don’t know everything. And today I want you to take away those 3 words and tell it to your daughters and to yourself.

I’m talking to those girls who are making A’s and are worried about making a B or a C. Those girls who have a certain pride that can’t make anything less than an A. I know there are some girls out there like that and moms who have daughters like that.

It’s OK to not make an A.

It’s OK to give yourself space.

We are the hardest on ourselves – we really are, but we don’t need anyone else to tell us that. Today is about those girls going through the tough subjects in school and who are already critical of themselves. Tell them that it’s going to be OK.

Give yourself room to grow.

(I posted a video on You Tube here if you and your STEM daughter want to watch together.)

Categories: lovely conversations, thoughts of a girl engineer Tags: , ,
STEM for Kids: Make Your Own Calculator

Who doesn’t love a light to turn on when you figure out the right answer? Today I am going to show you my all time favorite experiment when I was a kid.

When I was in 4th grade, we were challenged to create a game to make learning math fun.  In my 9 year old opinion this was the coolest math game ever because my mom and I made our own calculator using aluminum foil and a circuit set with a light. Check this out.

What you Need:

  • These printable (editable) math circuit cards found —>here <—
  • Strips of aluminum foil
  • Tape
  • Hold punch
  • A circuit set that includes a light, battery, and two connecting wires. I used the circuits from our Snap Circuit box. You can also find ones here on Amazon.

How you do it:

  • Print a math circuit card on cardstock
  • Punch holes next to each equation and answer
  • Fold the card in half
  • Draw a line connecting the math equation with the right answer using a pencil
  • Tape strips of aluminum foil over each line. (Make sure you fully cover the foil with tape)
  • Test out each circuit you created!

What happened: Aluminum foil is a material that can conduct electricity meaning electricity can flow through it. In this case, it will close the open circuit and cause the light to turn on.

Allie loved making up her own math circuit card light up and recreating a memory for her ol’ mom! What memorable science challenge do you remember as a kid? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

Have fun making memories!

 

Categories: how to videos, STEM Tags: , , , ,
Candy Catapults

candycatHow can you bring engineering to life for your kids? Well in our house it involves flying candy. This week is Engineering Week and I’m sharing a few easy and fun activities for you to try with the kiddos. But today is especially near and dear to my heart because it is Girl Day! DiscoverE.org has dedicated today to showing girls just how creative engineering can be and how engineering can change the world.

Inspired by this, I thought I would try out my creative side and show you this easy engineering activity on video!  So sit back, relax, grab your daughter, grab some popcorn, and enjoy!

(Note: My kids LOVE making candy catapults when marshmallows are involved so that is what I’m using as ammo in the video.)

Here is a summary:

What you’ll need:

7 craft sticks, 4 rubber bands, plastic spoon, candy to launch

How to do it:

1.Stack 5 craft sticks together and wrap a rubber band at each end

2.Stack 2 craft sticks and wrap a rubber band around one end

3.Slide bigger stack between smaller stack and secure it with a rubber band.

4.Insert spoon and add marshmallows to launch

What happens:

A catapult is a simple machine called a lever. Other examples of levers are scissors, see-saws, and fingernail clippers.

I hope you enjoyed the video and let me know what you think by leaving a comment down in the comments section.

Let me know if you are tempted to shoot candy across the room when the kids are in bed just for the fun of it!

Happy Girl Day 2016!

Categories: how to videos, STEM, thoughts of a girl engineer Tags: , , , ,