NAU’s Girls Teaching Girls program has returned to Killip for another semester of lively STEM activities for Killip’s 3rd-5th grade girls. We are lucky to have 6 mentors from the program visit throughout the week, providing a great variety of exciting opportunities for participants.
One of the earliest projects the girls did was learn about the impact of oil spills by simulating their own oil cleanup. Students picked toy sea creatures to place in tubs of water as oil was poured in. Given a variety of tools-- pipettes, sponges, brushes-- the girls were able to gauge just how difficult cleaning up a real life oil spill is, and how harmful oil spills are to aquatic life.
Girls Teaching Girls participants learn about the effects of oil spills.
Most recently Girls Teaching Girls members utilized their engineering and chemistry skills to create bottle rockets fueled by vinegar (acetic acid) and baking soda (sodium bicarbonate). This was a great learning experience, as teams took turns changing the ratios of the baking soda and the vinegar to determine the most successful recipe for blasting off.
Girls Teaching Girls members work together to design bottle rockets.
Girls Teaching Girls members create an explosive mixture of vinegar and baking soda for their rockets.
Other meetings this semester encompass discussions on disability, including learning differences and invisible disabilities, as well as testing engineering skills through designing gumdrop-toothpick towers, and learning about the water cycle and cloud permeability. Students closed the semester by demonstrating how to make slime at the winter Showcase by combining craft glue (polyvinyl acetate) with borax (sodium borate) to create this popular non-Newtonian fluid and Maxwell solid.
A big thank you goes out to NAU’s Girls Teaching Girls program; Killip is looking forward to an another exciting semester collaborating with them!
Written by Lee A. Haferkamp.