After School Fall 2017: Week 1

We are so excited to have our after-school programs back in session! At Girlstart, we are brave, creative, and curious. Last week, we broke down Engineering Design Process, the process in which we create and test experiments. To put this process into practice, the girls were tasked with designing and creating a parachute prototype.

First, the girls identified the problem. Each pair of girls was given a bag containing coffee filters, string, paper clips, and tape. Together, the girls brainstormed solutions and created a design for their prototype.

The girls then put their parachutes to the test. One by one the girls set their parachutes to flight, observing what designs were successful and where their design could use improvement. At Girlstart we never give up. If your design fails, you identify the problem and you try again. And again.

The girls quickly discovered how the weight and size of their parachutes impact the parachutes’ travel downward. Our young Girlstart engineers learned about the effect of drag, how increasing air resistance allows a parachute to travel slowly and return skydivers to the ground safely!

STEM Activities for our Houston friends

Hi everyone:

We just heard that it may be until September 11 that Houston children can go back to school. We’ve been providing STEM education for girls in Houston for over 4 years, and we have been our Houston office for over a year. We know our schools and families are hurting. We are hurting for them, too. We are, in our own small way, trying to do things to help. We are putting together welcome kits for the groups of families that come to shelter in Austin. We are hoping to bring some hands-on science activities to families who are sheltering in Houston, Dallas, and Austin. We also thought that because Houston schools won’t be in session for two more weeks, maybe, just maybe, we have a few ideas to help parents and children between now and then.

At the end of each year we have a virtual program called DeSTEMber and in it, we share daily activities that you can do with really simple materials. We know that not everyone has access to all the materials right now, but maybe you do have some of them. So we, your DeSTEMber elves, want to try to bring you some fun science cheer during this tough time. We’ll re-post some of the more popular and accessible DeSTEMber activities between now and the first day back to school, and we’ll also post some of our awesome videos that are both fun and inspiring. I hope that if your interest is piqued, you’ll also look back at our other DeSTEMber or Hands-On Wednesday blogposts, or our Pinterest pages, or our Instagram photos to find more STEM fun.

We’re getting ready to begin Girlstart After School this fall in 80+ Houston, Central Texas, the Dallas/Ft Worth area, San Antonio, the Rio Grande Valley, Waco, and Bryan/College Station schools. We know that all Girlstart girls are brave, creative, and curious and we can’t wait to begin another year of weekly after school STEM.

We also hope that all of you can think about ways that you, too, can #helpHouston!

Tamara and all of us at Girlstart