Elephant’s Toothpaste, What Can You See in a Fly’s Eye and Emergency! are just three of the activities designed to engage and inspire young girls at our FEMMES Saturday Science Capstone Events. Saturday Science events are free, daylong activities filled events that are aimed at 4th to 6th grade girls. Saturday Science events take place on the University of Michigan’s Ann Arbor campus.
Every Saturday Science Event has different activities, but here is what a typical day at a FEMMES Saturday Science Capstone might look like:
Hear from a speaker about what science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields are:
Participate in hands-on science activities:
Learn about how technology can change people’s lives:
After lunch, more hands-on STEM activities:
At the end of the day, celebrate all that you learned and made with your group!
On Grade Range
Through our Capstone Events, FEMMES aims to provide an exciting, hands-on STEM education experience for girls in 4th-6th grade from schools across southeast Michigan, in the hopes that they will be encouraged to further explore their potential in these fields. We have strategically chosen to target grades 4-6 based on data published in a 2003 issue of the Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering, that demonstrated that age nine (grade 4) is the time period where girls begin to fall behind boys in terms of achievement and enthusiasm in STEM. FEMMES is entirely volunteer-based and is to be free for all participants. The existing disparities in the sciences underscore the need for outreach programs to help engage young women. Many intervention programs are directed towards high school students—but girls may find themselves turned away from the sciences at a much earlier age. Consequently, students who have the potential to succeed in these fields may be wholly unaware of it.
The FEMMES Capstone is a great way for girls to make new friends. Our grouping strategy was developed to encourage all participants to get the most out of their experiences. We group girls of the same grade together, but do try to make sure that each group consists of girls from different schools. Although this means that girls may not be grouped with their friends from school, it often abrogates distractions and allows everyone involved to have a better overall experience. There is so much to be learned from those who have different experiences, and we aim to maximize learning and fun with each event that we hold.