Discovery Green Blog: Engage in STEM activities During Spring Break Week Presented by BG Group
February 27, 2014
by Ashley Roberts
Spring Break at Discovery Green is right around the corner and we can hardly wait to share with you the things we have planned for the week of March 16 - 20! Thanks to generous sponsor BG Group, we are thrilled to introduce STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math education) activities led by Austin-based Girlstart. Despite its name, Girlstart is a community outreach service available to both boys and girls, and provides free, family-friendly STEM programming.
During their first visit to Houston, Girlstart ambassadors will present activities in the areas of mechanical energy, chemistry, astronomy and engineering. Children can explore each of these areas in a number of ways, including designing levers and launching their own straw rockets, constructing and racing rubber band-powered vehicles or building and flying gliders, kites and parachutes that soar through the air! They can also create gooey slime, Insta-snow and their very own hidden messages; build a shock-absorbing moon lander that will protect “astronauts” from crashing; make towers, domes, arches and other structures with gumdrops; measure the sizes of the planets in our solar system, and explore how the earth orbits the sun and how the moon orbits the earth.
Founded in 1997 to address the gender imbalance in Austin’s STEM workforce, Girlstart was inspired by Meg Wilson’s “Options for Girls,” a compilation of science and math education. Research shows that low-income and minority girls are unlikely to pursue STEM education or STEM careers – a factor that contributed to the founding of Girlstart. Girlstart focuses heavily on reaching girls in grades four through eight, with particular focus on those of socially and ethnically diverse backgrounds.
In 2014, Girlstart reached more than 11,000 individuals with their Community STEM programming. Over the course of just five years, Girlstart has grown from four to 50 afterschool programs, from eight to 27 summer camp programs, and is continuously seeking how to reach even more girls with their program model. In 2014, their Community STEM programs reached more than 11,000 individuals. The Girlstart after school program was just recently launched in two schools in Houston’s Alief Independent School District, with hopes to bring a summer camp to Houston in 2015 and create between 20 and 40 Houston programs by 2017.
We hope you are making your plans to spend spring break at Discovery Green! In addition to the Girlstart STEM activities, we will have HGO Opera to Go! Storybook Opera, fairytale blasts, foam parties, and so much more! Check www.discoverygreen.com for full schedule of events for the week.