Tuesday, January 26, 2016

A Day at Tween Tech!

An introduction of Malika Green:

My name is Malika Green and I am a STEM teacher at the William Davies Middle School in Mays Landing, NJ.  Currently,I am implementing year two of the Project Lead the Way (PLTW) Gateway curriculum which includes Design & Modeling, Automation & Robotics, as well as Energy & the Environment.  I work closely with Kim Mattina to ensure that our students are engaged in high quality, relevant, and current technological experiences.

This blog post is our reflection from Tween Tech at Stockton University on January 8, 2016.

On Friday, January 8th, 2016, a selected 15 girls from the William Davies Middle School attended Tween Tech, a conference at Stockton University that offers girls  an opportunity to acquire more knowledge about STEM opportunities.  Stockton and the American Association of University of Women (AAUW), hosted the event and it included many interactive, hands-on activities, and women presenters who work in the STEM field.   

The conference offered hands-on workshops for middle school girls. Due to anticipated demand of the event, we were limited in selecting 15 students.  Sample workshop titles included Mystery Diagnosis, Solve a Murder with Forensics, Chemistry of Modern Cuisine, Science of Clay, and What’s the Chance of That?  All of the workshops were engaging, hands-on STEM focused.  The workshops that the students from the William Davies Middle School enjoyed the most were  Brain Games, Little Bits, Lissajous Figures, The Chemistry of Modern Cuisine and Build a Robotic Hand.

The day started with the students creating their own name badges, and using a sticker to symbolize the session of their choice.  All of the students, were split up into their workshop, forcing them to collaborate with other students from different schools.  Once in their session, they were paired up to complete the task at hand.  The workshops lasted for an hour, and the students attended two workshops.  They were offered lunch and the opportunity to hear motivational women speakers who work in the STEM field.  They were truly amazed, engaged and excited to hear their stories and experiences.    


While the students were in workshops, the teachers attended a presentation on Solving the Equation: The Variable for Women’s Success in Engineering and Computing from the AAUW as well as discussion on STEM majors.  The presentation was about empowering women to pursue STEM careers.  According to report, women declined in computer and mathematical occupations by 9% in 13 years.  As well as, by the end of high school, fewer girls planned to pursue STEM in college.  

When the presentation was over, we went into the Little Bites workshop, where students use electronic building blocks to invent large and small automated devices.  


Another workshop that we attended was Build a Robotic Hand, which demonstrated hand function by using simple supplies such as, string, cardboard, straw, and glue.  


In conclusion, all of our students had a great experience attending Tween Teck.  It was a very successful and rewarding day for us.  The students enjoyed the field trip the minute we stepped onto the bus to go to Stockton University.  It made them realize the importance of an education, and the opportunities that are offered in STEM careers.  

Here are a few quotes from our students:

“I am very happy I got the opportunity to participate in Tween Tech! This program has opened my eyes and exposed me to the different jobs and careers in STEM.” ~Alexa

“Today, I learned a lot!” ~Nina

“I had a fun learning experience.  All of the volunteers were really helpful and the food was good!”  ~Nathalia

“I had a lot of fun!” ~Hannah

“I learned a lot about Engineering and Technology.  My favorite activity was building a robotic hand.” ~Megan

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