Session S2a (Sunday, 2pm, CHEM 102

P8: Engaging young girls in science and math

Audra Sostarecz (Monmouth College, USA)

In the summer of 2011, chemistry professor Dr. Audra Sostarecz and math professor Dr. Joanne Eary, both of Monmouth College, taught a course for 3rd-8th grade girls entitled Math/Science Interface for Girls as part of a grant through the National Girls Collaborative Project.   The goal of this two-week course, which culminated in the analysis of a “Crime Scene”, was to engage young girls in science and math by utilizing inquiry-based activities.  The girls were required to keep a laboratory notebook and were taught the scientific method through experiments such as “Mentos and Diet Coke”.  Some concepts that the girls learned included the following: density, volume, mass, units of measurement, solute, and solvent.  Challenges encountered included how to form effective groups for working together and how to foster a productive learning environment when performing inquiry-based activities. The girls’ attitudes towards STEM disciplines throughout the two weeks were interpreted from qualitative surveys.

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