SciGirls

Engineer and Invent


  • SciGirls | Turtle Mania 01: Identify the Problem

    Great science starts with good questions. In this first clip from SciGirls: Turtle Mania, Annie and her friends would like to help the turtle population flourish in their school’s pond. Since the wetland is protected, they will need to convince the school they can add a basking platform responsibly. How better to make a compelling case than with plenty of sound scientific data? A prime example of how an open question inspires a full inquiry investigation.

    Grades: 5-8
  • SciGirls | Turtle Mania 02: Mentor Moment

    This video clip from SciGirls: Turtle Mania demonstrates how girls benefit from a relationship with a mentor. To get their turtle population study off to a strong start, the SciGirls enlist the help of DNR Nongame Wildlife Specialist, Jaime Edwards. Jaime shares her turtle knowledge and data collection techniques with the girls. They also gain a science role model, witnessing Jamie enjoying the daily hands-on fieldwork of her chosen scientific career.

    Grades: 5-8
  • SciGirls | Turtle Mania 03: Design and Build

    As much as girls benefit from collaborating on an engineering challenge, there’s always a risk of disagreement. This video clip from SciGirls: Turtle Mania shows the importance of ensuring that each team member can participate and communicate fairly. The girls all contribute aspects to their turtle basking platform design yet are equally free to challenge additions they feel don’t stack up to critical thinking. Though the discussion may get heated, their common goal brings about compromise until they reach a consensus on a trial design to build and test.

    Grades: 5-8
  • SciGirls | Turtle Mania 04: Share

    Gathering data is but a portion of an inquiry investigation; the ultimate challenge is what to do with all that information. In this video clip from SciGirls: Turtle Mania, the girls gather up all the data from their turtle population study and basking platform test. They then interpret their observations, reach their conclusions and set about constructing a coherent and hopefully persuasive presentation. To truly get the most out of their investigation, it’s vital to remain open to new ideas even while sharing their final results.

    Grades: 5-8
  • SciGirls | Puppet Power 01: Research

    This SciGirls video shows the girls researching to determine what type of puppet they would like to create. The girls take inspiration for their puppet design from existing puppets. The SciGirls use a combination of their previous knowledge, what other designers are creating, and mechanical examples found in the puppet attic to start thinking about their puppet.

    Grades: 5-8
  • SciGirls | Puppet Power 02: Brainstorm

    The SciGirls are brainstorming the different mechanics that will be used to move the puppet. Brainstorming is the process of idea generation and works really well when done in a group. The SciGirls are creating their own giant pig puppet and begin planning their puppet and thinking about how the mechanics will work together.

    Grades: 5-8
  • SciGirls | Puppet Power 03: Mentor Moment

    Mentors serve an important role in introducing girls to different careers and showing them what's it's actually like to work in one. The SciGirls work with their role model to do some prototyping and use her expertise to help them refine their ideas.

    Grades: 5-8
  • SciGirls | Puppet Power 04: Problem Solve

    Problem solving is an important skill to have when working on STEM projects. The SciGirls run into some difficulty trying to get their pig to blow smoke out of its ears and nose. The girls do some simple changes to fix their problem.

    Grades: 5-8
  • SciGirls | Puppet Power 05: Share

    It's always good to test your design before sharing it with a larger group. The SciGirls get into their pig puppet to give it a try and find there are still a few things to fix before it's time for the final show.

    Grades: 5-8
  • SciGirls | Blowin' in the Wind 01: Research 1

    This SciGirls video is a good example of the interconnectedness of science, engineering, and art. The SciGirls want to learn more about wind power and are looking for ideas about what to power using their own mini wind farm. They get some ideas by visiting the local art museum and see an example of using wind power to bring science and art together.

    Grades: 6-8
  • SciGirls | Blowin' in the Wind 02: Test

    When doing scientific investigations with many variables it's important to keep track of all of them and only change one at a time. The SciGirls are investigating wind turbine blades to figure out which produce the most energy and are careful to change only one variable at a time.

    Grades: 6-8
  • SciGirls | Blowin' in the Wind 03: Research 2

    Before setting up their own mini wind farm the girls need to figure out how a working wind farm works to collect wind and turn it into useable energy. The SciGirls visit two wind farms, one that is under construction and one that is fully functional to learn from their mentor how all the pieces of a wind farm work together.

    Grades: 6-8
  • SciGirls | Blowin' in the Wind 04: Data Collection

    It's time for the SciGirls to collect data. They need to figure out where to put their mini wind farm so they collect data on wind speed from two different locations before choosing the best spot.

    Grades: 6-8
  • SciGirls | Blowin' in the Wind 05: Mentor Moment

    Seeing women who have succeeded in STEM helps inspire and motivate girls, especially when they can relate to these mentors as people with lives outside of the lab. The SciGirls talk with their mentor about what she does as a GIS specialist and how she got interested in science and wind energy.

    Grades: 6-8
  • SciGirls | Blowin' in the Wind 06: Problem Solve

    Problem solving and critical thinking are essential STEM skills that are exemplified as the girls complete the building of their mini wind farm. After hooking all their wind turbines together and connecting them to the water pumps, they don't work. Time for some problem solving!

    Grades: 6-8
  • SciGirls | Bouncing Balloons

    Sports + Engineering = Great Fun! Sports engineering focuses on designing, developing, and testing sports equipment, such as balls. When a ball collides with something hard, its shape alters. But if the material used to make the ball is elastic, the ball will return to its original shape, causing it to bounce. Some balls, like basketballs, are very bouncy, and some, like baseballs, hardly bounce at all. Explore sports equipment engineering in this SciGirls activity challenging students to design a super bouncy ball out of a balloon.

    Grades: 5-8
  • SciGirls | Parachute Parade

    You can design a parachute to give a toy figure a safe landing with this SciGirls engineering activity. Skydivers rely on parachutes to slow them down as they fall from frightening heights. Parachutes catch air and create drag, a force that works against gravity. Parachutes are usually large and made of lightweight materials, so they create the most drag possible without adding a lot of weight.

    Grades: 5-8
  • SciGirls | Twirling in the Breeze

    Trying building a device to measure how fast the wind is blowing in this SciGirls engineering activity. You may have heard a weather reporter warn, "Wind gusts are up to 30 mph!" Scientists measure wind speed using a weather instrument called an anemometer, which relies on cups attached to freely rotating arms to catch the wind and make the arms spin. The device then records the number of revolutions in a given time period and translates this into miles per hour (mph).

    Grades: 5-8
  • SciGirls | Puppet Power

    Experiment with linkages in this SciGirls activity challenging students to design a shadow puppet with moving parts and use it to tell a story. The tradition of using shadow puppets to tell stories dates back thousands of years, making it one of the oldest forms of motion-picture storytelling. Shadow puppet theater originated in India and China, where the tradition lives on today. Shadow puppets are often used to convey culturally important stories, such as myths, legends, folklore, and religious stories.

    Grades: 5-8
  • SciGirls | Blowin' in the Wind

    Experiment with wind energy in this SciGirls activity that challenges students to build their own weight lifting wind turbine. Windmills have been used for thousands of years to grind grain, pump water, and even generate electricity. They lost popularity as new sources of energy, such as fossil fuels, arose. But the idea of using wind for energy has made a comeback in recent decades, and careers in wind energy are growing rapidly as the demand for clean energy increases.

    Grades: 6-8

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