Over the past 4 months, Project STEAMRolers have been engaging in super fun activities that have expanded their knowledge of STEAM and their sense of self.
Session 1: Project STEAM Role hit the ground running with its introductory session. STEAMRolers got acquainted with each other and worked together to develop their own set of Group Agreements. They were also introduced to the Techbridge Girls, a supporting program partner of Project STEAM Role.
They then ventured into the STEAM world through a discussion and video montage about opportunities for women of color in STEAM. The STEAMRolers got to share their interests and desires for careers in STEAM fields and talked about what they would like to see in a STEAM program.
It was a great start to some fantastic STEAM activities and opportunities to come.
Session 2: It was all about time this week at Project STEAM Role. After agreeing on and reciting the Project STEAM Role Group Pledge, STEAMRolers ventured into the area of time by learning and talking about time travel and creating their own versions of Time Machines. While contemplating how to make their visions come to life, a mini video lesson on the history of Jazz and some bebop helped the girls get their creative juices flowing.
Session 3: Using computers donated by Project STEAM Role partner Electronic Access Foundation , STEAMRolers checked out Career Girls to take career quizzes and explore what they are thinking about being when they grow up. They got a chance to peek into the future and to think about how they could merge their talents and interests in ways they hadn't even thought about. It was a cool introduction to the myriad possibilities that await them in the world of STEAM. We threw in a rousing game of STEM Career Bingo to round out the experience.
They also had a chance to engage in some serious engineering using the Design Process to imagine, sketch and build their versions of structurally sound bridges using popsicle sticks, glue and ingenuity. The girls learned that whether it is a truss bridge, a beam bridge or a suspension bridge, there is a great deal of testing and readjusting that comes along with a build.
Session 4: This week was a little different for Project STEAMRolers. Their STEAM fun and learning came in the mail in the form of a comprehensive STEM kit comprised of components to create 20 motorized inventions. This was an "At-home" challenge week.
The STEAMRolers rose to the challenge, creating how-to videos on YouTube while working through the projects and showing other young people their work. A couple of the girls took the lesson further, creating their own versions of motorized machines and making adaptations to the ones in the kit. Even away from the classroom, the fun and learning never stop!
Happy Holidays! While the group did not meet for an official session, the crew met up at ATAP to exchange good wishes and gifts for the holidays.
Session 5: This week STEAMRolers took stock of the wonderful characteristics that make them unique and how to show that to the world by creating their personal logos. Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is an important part of the Project STEAM Role experience. We try to create avenues to help girls develop healthy identities and achieve personal goals in ways that support the other girls in the group.
STEAMRolers also engaged in an activity that taught them about the world of pollinators and their importance in producing the food we eat. The task was to create a futuristic pollinator that would be able to sustain forces that are killing our pollinators, like global warming and pesticides. The girls got innovative and rose to the challenge, creating unique insects that could some day save the world.
Session 6: STEAMRolers continued on their SEL journey by thinking about what they envision for themselves in the future. Their one-of-a-kind "Dream Jars" depicted their creativity on the outside and desires they have for their lives written on strips of paper on the inside. It was wonderful to see them present their dreams to one another. The jars will be a reminder as they mature of the ideas they had when they were younger and remind them that it's never too late to make dreams come true.
STEAM learning continued during this session with a fun-filled, yet educational, paper plane challenge. STEAMRolers constructed planes out of various types of paper, all the while calculating in their minds which would be the best flyers. After launching each of their 3 prototypes and tweaking them along the way, the girls had to determine through mathematical calculations using speed and time, who had the most effective design. We are happy to report there were no crashes!
We look forward to new and exciting ways to bring the world of STEAM to girls of color. In order to have women of color in STEAM, we have to make STEAM accessible to our girls.