Salt Lake City, Utah
June 23, 2018
June 23, 2018
July 27, 2018
This paper describes a set of making activities that was utilized in Girl Makers, a week-long program that was part of a university outreach summer camp organized to inspire underrepresented middle school minority girls to choose STEM careers. With the goal to expose the students to making and makerspaces, Girls Inc. middle school students participating in Girl Makers were engaged in Arduino coding, robotics, concrete paperweight making, 3D design and printing, and CNC laser cutting and engraving activities. Each of these stand-alone activities could be completed within two and half hours including a break and, with the exception of coding, provided the students with a physical artifact to take home.
The majority of Girl Makers activities were held in a new open-access academic makerspace that normally supports the university’s common first-year engineering program and senior capstone design projects. The makerspace has grown to support more informal learning programs that include STEM outreach, workshops, and entrepreneurial activities for the university community. All Girl Makers activities were organized by volunteer engineering faculty and students. Depending upon the nature of the activities, each Girl Makers workshop either made use of available fabrication equipment, reusable materials borrowed from the freshman engineering class or, low-cost readily available materials to make artifacts that the girls could take home. Discussions of science and technology concepts were incorporated formally through presentations and informally through one-to-one and small group discussions with the students. The groups of students were kept purposefully small with 8-10 girls for each session and multiple instructors and student assistants were available to provide valuable instructor-student interactions. A feedback questionnaire completed at the end of the program indicated promising student engagement and interest in the making activities.
Khuon, L., & Ertekin, Y., & Carr, M. E., & Terranova, B. B., & Hoque, S., & Fiori, C. M., & Laing, C. C. (2018, June), Board 135: MAKER: Simple Making Activities to Expose Middle School Girls to STEM Careers Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/29930
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