SciGirls #STEMchat (and doing some “sloth”-ing in Costa Rica)
I’ve been a constant supporter (and occasional viewer) of the Emmy Award-winning series on PBS KIDS called SciGirls. They have been on the air for three seasons featuring teams of girls ages 12-14 who are involved in science activities in their homes and communities. This is a very important age to reach girls about science and their show is quite engaging! In fact, a few years back, I learned from one of their producers that their main audience is girls YOUNGER than the girls on the show, and this is how kids programming usually works, the younger kids are inspired by slightly older kids doing science.
The team at SciGirls wants all of us to join in to do science, and to that end they are encouraging participation in Citizen Science via some projects at Sci Starter. To help them along in spreading the word, a group of us STEM enthusiasts will be coming together to talk about girls in science and citizen science in particular on twitter this Thursday night at the hashtag, #STEMchat.
I was only narrowly recruited for this chat as I leave the next day to head to Costa Rica to hangout with some sloths and the researchers, naturalists and rescuers who work with them. Stay tuned for some adorableness! If my signal is good, I’ll be Vining, Instagramming, tweeting, G+ ing and Periscoping! I’m in most places as @sciencegoddess.
The following details are lifted directly from The Maker Mom’s blog:
#STEMchat will take place on 5/21 from 9 – 10 PM Eastern.
We’ve got an awesome panel of grown-up SciGirls to help lead our #STEMchat on Citizen Science:
@SciGirls, SciGirls is an Emmy Award-winning PBS KIDS TV show, website and outreach program that seeks to change how girls think about STEM.
@CoopSciScoop, Caren Cooper, a bird-loving biologist and blogger who is literally writing the book on citizen science.
@ScienceGoddess, Joanne Manaster, Read Science host, STEM advocate, biology lecturer, and former international model.
@TheSpaceGal, Emily Calandrelli, promoter of science literacy, space exploration and equality. She’s also the host and producer of the Show Xploration Outer Space. Read her STEM Girl Friday Feature.
@VeronicaEye, Veronica Arreola, a nationally-recognized professional advocate for girls and women in STEM who is also a speaker and writer. Read her STEM Girl Friday feature.
And @KimMoldofsky, also known as The Maker Mom and founder of #STEMchat who has yet to author a book.
Join me tomorrow night! I’m excited to talk about getting everyone involved with science!
Follow SciGirls on twitter and like them on Facebook!
Memories of Science Classes Past
When I was approached to participate in tonight’s #STEMchat on twitter with Bayer, who is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its Making Science Make Sense program, disjointed memories of science information from various teachers began to pop into my mind. I thought of Mr. Beccue in 5th grade helping us burn feathers and hair to teach us about the chemical make-up of proteins. The smell is sulfur from the the amino acid cysteine in keratin. In 4th grade, I recall grappling with how hot air rises and cold air sinks and that is why the shower curtain will blow toward the bathtub while you shower. The explanation was in a seldom-consulted textbook rather than through hands-on experimentation, but it was a real-life example I could understand. I also remember the push for the metric system in America when I was in elementary school (check out the book, Whatever Happened to the Metric System?: How America Kept Its Feet if you want to know more). Little did I know that the early training in the metric system would be invaluable in my future scientific career, even if America did not want to join the rest of the world in its use. Oh, and Mrs. Thompson in 3rd grade, with her distinct shoe clopping as she came down the hall, indicating we should all get back in our seats, was the one who told us about this new space ship that will take off like a rocket but return like a plane. I talk about that briefly approximately 2 minutes into my Pecha Kucha talk about the last space shuttle launch:
In middle school, the Air Force brought my family to the tiny tropical island of Guam. I was able to experience the beach and the boonies daily. In middle school biology, we raised and then cooked snails to eat. EWW! No, thank you!!! By high school, I was certain I wanted to become a physician so I had high hopes for my science classes. I went to a small all-girls Catholic school where resources weren’t abundant, so we made due with what we had. For biology, we dissected frogs we caught outside because those were plentiful on Guam. We had to pith them ourselves, which made many of us unhappy. I put on a brave face and reluctantly did it. Double EWW! Even though that part wasn’t fun, I have to admit that the inner workings of the frog were interesting albeit slimy! I only recall one hands-on chemistry lab during high school, but that was enough to whet my appetite for more of that when I got to college! Physics topics were not all that memorable, but the thick accent of the teacher from India was, as it had me deciphering new physics words. Oddly, the fact that he said “milliwolves”, creating waves of giggles from girls in the class, actually made it easier to learn the place of millivolts in physics!! I was famous in school for the “translation dictionary” I created of his pronunciation to real words.
Tonight on twitter, I’ll be joining a great group of panelists as we talk about what science education was like BEFORE computers in the classroom, ipads, smartphone and ready-made kits for experimentation. The science education my children have been receiving is much, much different than I had!
STEMchat will take place on Thursday, October 15, 2015 from 9-10 pm Eastern.
The panel of guests include:
@KimMoldofsky, also known as The Maker Mom and founder of #STEMchat. Occasionally tweeting from @TheMakerMom and @STEMchat.
@BayerUS – Life Science company dedicated to advancing science literacy.
@DavidJLockett – STEM educator and lifelong learner.
@ThePurplePage – Stephani Page, is a mom, former science fair winner, PhD candidate in biophysics and biochemistry, and initiator of #BLACKandSTEM.
myself, @ScienceGoddess – Joanne Manaster, Read Science host, STEM advocate and biology lecturer.
As part of this chat, we will make a special effort to Say “Thank You!”, #SayTKU, to science mentors who inspired us! Every time you do, Bayer will provide free admission to a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) venue for a child (up to 25,000) through a new partnership with Tickets for Kids® Charities. I think it is a fabulous idea! Thank a teacher and inspire a child!
Please join us to talk about the brave new world of science education!
8 years ago Kids in STEM, STEM, Uncategorized • Tags: #SayTKU, Bayer, biology, chemistry, high school, metric system, physics, school, science, science education, Space Shuttle, STEM, STEM chat, STEMchat, teachers