“I don’t think I’ve ever seen girls more consistently engaged,” one volunteer said of Girl Scouts at To Space! A STEM Workshop, hosted by scientist, educator, and author Katie Slivensky.
Junior and Cadette Girl Scouts started the day by imagining themselves as planets. They placed themselves around the room to understand the distances and relationships between planets and stars, and the massive stretch of the Milky Way.
Next they sat on turn-tables and were spun by their peers as they tried to get a paper ball into a bucket, simulating what it’s like to launch a spaceship while using and fighting against earth’s gravitational forces. The girls eagerly shared their findings—it took them a while to “get good at it,” but they started seeing more reliable results as they recorded their data. Katie shared that this is how the space program had to learn; by making a lot of mistakes (including crashes and meltdowns), but the scientists never gave up learning and persevering.
Next, the girls were divided into teams—one half in front of a poster board and the other behind. One half started constructing a robot, but when Katie shouted “Houston, we have a problem!” the girls behind the board had to offer help and directions. This demonstrated what it’s like for Mission Control to fix problems in outer space through collaboration and communication—even in the scariest circumstances.
“The girls were so eager to test, try, record, and try again… they were truly engaging in the scientific process,” one event volunteer stated. “Katie taught the girls about the challenges of space flight while helping them envision themselves as scientific G.I.R.L.s!”
Katie will host this workshop for Juniors and Cadettes again on April 7, 2018. Get your girl in on the action!