Recently, the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center hosted nearly 90 fourth- through sixth-grade girls and 130 of their family members for the annual Tech Challenge engineering competition.
The girls, who attend Title I (low income) schools, are part of the Fleet’s SciTech after school program. During the weeks leading up to the competition, the girls were challenged to create a device to help clean up the plastic waste in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch without harming marine life. The girls spent weeks researching the problem and designing and testing their devices. They kept track of their design processes in notebooks, which they shared with the judges on the day of competition. Thanks to the Fleet’s partnership with Motorola, six female engineers served as judges during the event, which gave the competition an added layer of authenticity. The girls were excited (and a bit nervous) to learn that they would be presenting their designs to a group of professional women. This interaction with the judges will have a lasting impact on many of these young girls. The feedback from the girls’ parents was especially heartwarming. Many of these families had never been to the Fleet and this event offered them an opportunity to learn what science centers are all about. It was an inspiring day for all involved! To get a glimpse of the impact of this event, view this short video.
SciTech is an after school program developed by the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center for fourth through twelfth grade girls at San Diego schools. Each year the program inspires more than 200 girls to become innovative and creative thinkers by fostering excitement and interest in science, technology, and engineering. Through project-based learning and interaction with local women scientists, the girls make concrete connections to everyday life while developing creative thinking and problem solving skills that they will use throughout their lives.
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