Posts about girls

Math Education Results Show China, Singapore, Korea and Japan Leading

The most comprehensive comparison of student achievement in math and science around the globe undertaken by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The 2012 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) focuses on math understanding of 15 year olds (the 2014 report will focus on science). The 2009 report focused on the results of science education student achievement around the globe.

2012 results for the math portion (rank – country – mean score)(I am not listing all countries):

  • 1 – Singapore – 573
  • 2 – Korea – 554
  • 3 – Japan – 536
  • 5 – Switzerland – 531
  • 6 – Netherlands – 523
  • 7 – Estonia – 521
  • 8 – Finland – 519
  • 9 – Canada – 518
  • 12 – Germany – 514
  • 24 – UK – 494 (this is also the OECD average)
  • 34 – USA – 481
  • 49 – Malaysia – 421
  • 50 – Mexico – 413

All 34 OECD member countries and 31 partner countries and economies participated in PISA 2012, representing more than 80% of the world economy. Portions of China participated and did very well including Shanghai-China (highest mean score of 613 points – if you ranked that as a country, I ignored these “regional results” in the ranks I shown here), Hong Kong-China (561, 3rd if including countries and regions together), Chinese Taipei [Taiwan] (560, 4th), Macao-China (538, 6th).

Boys perform better than girls in mathematics in 38 out of the 65 countries and economies that participated in PISA 2012, and girls outperform boys in 5 countries.

Related: Playing Dice and Children’s NumeracyNumeracy: The Educational Gift That Keeps on GivingMathematicians Top List of Best OccupationsThe Economic Consequences of Investing in Science EducationCountry H-index Ranking for Science PublicationsEconomic Strength Through Technology Leadership

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Solar Powered Water Jug to Purify Drinking Water

Deepika Kurup, a 14-year-old New York student, won the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge for her invention of a solar-powered water jug that changes dirty water into purified drinking water. She won the top prize of $25,000.

During “the 5 minutes of my presentation 15 children have died from lack of clean drinking water.”

I am thankful we have kids like this to create solutions for us that will make the world a better place. We rely on hundreds of thousands of such people to use science and engineering methods to benefit society.

Related: Strawjet: Invention of the YearCheap Drinking Water From SeawaterWater and Electricity for AllThanksgiving, Appropriately (power of capitalism and people to provide long term increases in standards of living)

Roominate: Inspiring Artists, Engineers and Visionaries

Roominate is a cool new toy created by 3 engineering students aimed at giving young engineers a way to learn, experiment and create. The 3 women used kickstarter to get the funds needed to launch their product. They raised $85,000 (the goal was $25,000).

We’re more than just a toy company. We want to inspire your daughters to be the great artists, engineers, architects, and visionaries of their generation. We intend to give them every tool to reach that potential.

Founders:

Bettina Chen: CalTech BS in Electrical Engineering, masters in Electrical Engineering from Stanford.

Alice Brooks: MIT BS in Mechanical Engineering, currently at Stanford pursuing masters in Mechanical Engineering design.

Jennifer Kessler: Bachelor degree from University of Pennsylvania, currently an MBA student at Stanford.

This is yet another example of entrepreneurship shown by Standford students. The USA is hugely benefited by Stanford (along with a few other schools: MIT, Caltech, etc.). There is little a country can do that is as helpful economically as encouraging the type of entrepreneurship Standford does.

Related: Awesome Gifts for the Maker in Your LifeFootballs Providing Light to Those Without Electricity at HomeGirls Sweep Top Honors at Siemens Competition in Math, Science and TechnologyFix it Goo

10 Year Old’s Molecule Design Becomes the Topic of a Scientific Paper

10-Year-Old Helps Professor With Theoretical Chemistry by Marimar White-Espin

[10-year-old Clara] Lazen’s teacher, Kenneth Boehr, introduced Border Star Montessori School’s 5th grade class to the periodic table, molecules and chemical bonds. Lazen found the topic interesting and Boehr gave her the tools she needed to explore the subject.

Equipped with a molecule-building kit, Lazen experimented with the colored wooden balls by creating existing molecules and some of her own.

Lazen approached Boehr and asked if the molecule she created using the kit was real. Unsure of the answer, Boehr emailed his longtime graduate school friend and chemistry professor at HSU, Robert Zoellner.

“Maybe [the molecule] is real and we’ll find out,” Zoellner responded.

Upon further research, Zoellner discovered the particular molecule, tetrakis(nitratoxycarbon) methane, Lazen had created had never been discussed in literature and possibly had never been thought of before.

The significance of the molecule Lazen created is that it has the potential to store energy. The dense structure allows for stable energy storage meaning the molecule can be used to produce energy or as an explosive.

Lazen was excited to hear her discovery could be used as an explosive. “I thought, ‘Wow, it could go boom!’ I could put [the molecule] in a bomb and it could blow up something,” she said.

Lazen’s mother, Lori Schmidt was excited to hear that not only would her daughter be a co-author to the scientific article, but the discovery would be recognized in a scientific journal. “One only dreams as a parent,”

Fun stuff.

Related: 11 Year Old Using Design of ExperimentsScience for KidsEncouraging Curiosity in KidsSarah, aged 3, Learns About Soap

Great Projects From First Google Science Fair Finalists

15 finalists (from 3 different age groups – 13-14 years old, 15-16 and 17-18) were selected. 11 finalists were from the USA and 1 each from Singapore, Canada, India and South Africa. These examples of what can be done with imagination, effort and a scientific mindset is great.

The grand prize winner, Shree Boseer’s project:

Each year, over 21,000 women are diagnosed with ovariancancer – the 5th leading cause of cancer-related deaths in women in the United States. One of the most common drugs usedin ovarian cancer chemotherapy is cisplatin, a platinum-based chemotherapy treatment. While the drug affects ordinary cells, the significantly higher replication frequency of cancer cells causes cisplatin to have a greater impact in malignant cells. However, cancer cells often develop resistance to cisplatin, rendering the treatment ineffective. To improve the efficiency of cisplatin treatment, this research sought to determine whether AMP kinase, an energy protein of cell, plays a role in the development of cisplatin resistance. Studies with various techniques showed a significant difference on cell death caused by cisplatin insensitive and resistant ovarian cancer cells when AMPK was inhibited,suggesting that AMPK plays a role in the development of resistance. This work,in addition to offering a new treatment regime, also furthers our understanding of ovarian cancer and cancers in general.

This is a great project and the experience for the students is wonderful. Still I do think the prizes should be much larger given all the large corporations involved. Get involved with the next Google Science fair.

Google Science Fair 2011 Projects semi finalistsIntel Science and Engineering Fair 2009 WebcastsHats off to the winners of the inaugural Google Science FairPresident Obama Speaks on Getting Students Excited About Science and Engineering
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EngineerGirl Essay: The Cure to Vitamin D Deficiency

photo of Kate YuhasKate Yuhas, an eighth-grader at Brighton’s Scranton Middle School, Michigan. Photo courtesy Kate Yuhas.

Brighton eighth-grader rewarded for her love for science

Thirteen-year-old Kate Yuhas, who plans to be an environmental engineer someday, has loved science since she was little.

Yuhas received an honorable mention certificate from the National Academy of Engineering’s EngineerGirl! Web site Imagine That! Engineering Innovation Essay Contest for her essay on a tanning booth that helps people produce vitamin D. “My whole life I’ve been interested in science,” Yuhas said. “I really like helping the environment and eating organic.”

“Kate has a talent for science and math, and she’s won medals at Science Olympiad,” said her mom, Johanna, who coaches the team. “Kate has always had science-themed parties. My husband and I are both engineers, and we talk a lot about science at home.”

The essay contest asked participants to consider one of three images on the EngineerGirl! site and to discuss its potential purposes and functions using engineering creativity.

Read Kate’s essay: The Cure to Vitamin D Deficiency

What can help prevent MS, high blood pressure, and several autoimmune diseases? The answer to that question would be Vitamin D, which you can get in three ways: food, supplements, and the sun. 70 percent of Americans lack adequate amounts of Vitamin D. The reason is that people just don’t get enough sun. That’s why my invention would be so helpful. It is a special tanning booth that only gives out the specific amount of UVB rays, the type of UV rays that is needed to produce Vitamin D, which you need.

The Engineer Girl website has done a smart thing and posted all the essays online. It is a simple act but one so often other organizations fail to do in similar circumstances.

Related: Students Create “Disappearing” Nail PolishTinker School: Engineering CampScience for KidsBuilding minds by building robotsKids on Scientists: Before and After

Building Engineers by Letting Kids Build Robots

Building engineers

This year Google has enthusiastically supported my initiative to bring a local group of girls closer to technology through the FIRST Robotics Competition.

“People claim that only with the perspective of years can you know how much influence a particular event has had on you,” Tal Tzangen says and proceeds to explain how she is convinced her participation in the FIRST Robotics Competition last year has significantly changed the course of her life. Tal, a 17 year old girl from a rural part of Israel, was taking technology courses at her school, not because she was particularly interested in technology but because the other options seemed even less appealing to her. Although Israel is also known as “Silicon Wadi,” Tal thought technology was “just for geeks.” Last year she agreed to be a member of a newly forming FIRST team, not knowing what she was letting herself in for.

The competition involves 1,686 teams from more than 42,000 high schools spanning the U.S., Brazil, Canada, Chile, Germany, Israel, Mexico, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Turkey, and the U.K. Each team has six weeks to build a robot from a common kit of parts provided by FIRST. Then, they compete with other robots in a new game devised each year.

She has enlisted some pre-high school girls with the hope of serving as a role model to them. Likewise, she has encouraged the forming of a FIRST LEGO team (9-14 year olds) to ensure the “next generation” for the Robotics Competition.

Related: Lunacy – FIRST Robotics Challenge 2009National Underwater Robotics ChallengeBuilding minds by building robotsLEGO Sumo Robotic Championship

High School Inventor Teams @ MIT

Sadly MIT deleted the video after having it live for several years.

Lemelson-MIT InvenTeams is a national grants initiative of the Lemelson-MIT Program to foster inventiveness among high school students. The webcast above shows a high school team presenting a project they completed to create a solution to provide clean water. This stuff is great. I love appropriate technology. I love seeing kids think and create effective solutions to real problems. This is how you get kids to learn – not boring classes (at least kids like me).

The students are passing on the project to students at their school to continue to work on. (MIT TechTV used to have many more presentation by other InvenTeams – not anymore 🙁 ) InvenTeams and MIT deserve a great deal of credit for creating such great learning opportunities and great solutions for the world.

InvenTeams composed of high school students, teachers and mentors are asked to collaboratively identify a problem that they want to solve, research the problem, and then develop a prototype invention as an in-class or extracurricular project. Grants of up to $10,000 support each team’s efforts. InvenTeams are encouraged to work with community partners, specifically the potential beneficiaries of their invention.

Related: Water and Electricity for AllWater Pump Merry-go-RoundEngineering a Better World: Bike Corn-ShellerInspiring a New Generation of InventorsKids in the Lab: Getting High-Schoolers Hooked on Science

National Girls Collaborative Project for STEM

The National Girls Collaborative Project for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) collaborates with those seeking to increase the participation of girls in STEM feeder activities. The goal is to encourage girls to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and math.

Collaboration as a Means to Building Capacity: Results and Future Directions of the National Girls Collaborative Project:

The purpose of the NGCP is to extend the capacity, impact, and sustainability of
existing and evolving girl-serving STEM projects and programs. The NGCP is structured to bring organizations together to compare needs and resources, to share information, and to plan strategically to expand STEM–related opportunities for girls.

Although we are still refining it, the NGCP collaborative model has shown its effectiveness through increased collaboration and minigrant projects with sustained results. As we have described, the success to date of the NGCP in developing collaborations has been demonstrated via data from the collaboration rubric, mini-grant reports, and metrics that show how collaborative activities have increased over the duration of the NGCP projects. As NGCP expands over the next few years to provide regional collaboratives across the entire United States and Puerto Rico, we will continue our assessment of its impact and hope to be able to report its influence on building capacity to attract and retain girls in STEM.

I support programs encouraging STEM activities for girls – and boys. NSF data shows for 2005 shows women outnumbered men in undergraduate degree in science and engineering. For post-graduate degrees men still outnumbering women but that gap has been reducing and seems like it will continue to. And the representations in the workplace seem poised to continue to show a reducing number of men and increasing number of women. Engineering is an example of an area with far more men than women graduating – the imbalance is equivalent to the imbalance the other way for psychology.

Related: Girls Sweep Top Honors at Siemens Competition in Math, Science and TechnologyFIRST Robotics in MinnesotaKids in the Lab: Getting High-Schoolers Hooked on Science

Beloit College: Girls and Women in Science

photo of chemistry lab

Girls and Women in Science at Beloit College in Wisconsin:

sixth grade girls, along with their teachers and parents. This award winning conference encourages the exploration of science and mathematics by middle school girls through two days of experiments, activities, and interaction with science professionals. The girls, teachers, and parents will work with Beloit College faculty, students, and alumnae.

Girls getting into science

Eaton said the 24 girls participating will be able to take an active role in the laboratories. It’s critical the girls are encouraged and get the chance to increase their risk-taking abilities without boys.

The problem is, Eaton said, that sixth-grade girls’ interest in science starts dwindling and boys start becoming more dominant. “The boys take over the hands-on projects and the girls take notes,” Eaton said. “Boys will answer a question more authoritatively. Girls pose answers as a question. They are not as confident in their answers.”

To help foster activity among girls, the weekend conference also offers several workshops for parents and teachers. The workshops teach adults what they are doing to discourage girls and how they can learn to encourage them more.

Related: Science Opportunities for StudentsScience Camps Prep GirlsBuilding minds by building robots

Science Camps Prep Girls

photo of students at science camp

Science Camps Prep Girls, by Christina Stolarz, The Detroit News.

Since 2002, U-D Mercy has offered the Science Technology Engineering Preview Summer, or STEPS, camp for girls who are heading into 10th and 11th grade, he said. The two weeklong camps, which are primarily funded by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers’ Education Foundation, introduce students to manufacturing, engineering, science and robotics.

Curious Cat University of Detroit Mercy Alumni

  • Recent Comments:

    • Jack Lawson: Wow! Awesome article and very entertaining story about insects. Animals are awesome! Keep it...
    • Mehmet: I think governments should encourage people for such initiatives.
    • Anonymous: It looks like a bird like a woodpecker. I do not know the name, but I have a perfect creation.
    • David: Very interesting story about the architecture of insects. They create very interesting shapes.
    • Mon Roi: Instead of marketing DVD sets or VHS sets or whatever else they just give it up for free. There is...
    • Gebze Pansiyon: Woww…. what a beautiful bird. I love the picture.
    • Vignesh P: very useful information.thank you for sharing It is so good blog !
    • Dustin McEarchern: Love the use of technology to improve lives. Really great story.
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