Session 4 – Observing and collecting data

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On Wednesday May 1st, the girls at Sisters for Science participated in a really cool experiment that focused on the importance of being observant when you’re a scientist/engineer. Our engineer, Christel Johnson, told the girls how her job as a an environmental engineer requires her to be aware of every detail of her surroundings, so that she can make sure to produce thorough data reports that help determine whether certain land can be built on. To practice this skill, the S4S girls were given samples of soil and water to collect data on. This allowed them to test their thinking skills and really learn what it means to be a good observer!

When asked why they thought it was important to make sure to pay attention to detail in their day-to-day lives, many of the girls agreed that being specific simply makes information more reliable, whether it be compiling a scientific report or telling a story to your friend. Nia, one of our 7th graders, said that you would even want to use details if you were writing in a diary. It looks like the girls really have an eye for specifics!

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Sisters4Science May 1, 2013 Session Recap

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Yesterday, the girls learned about environmental and civil engineering. We welcomed Christel, who taught us how to observe everything important in an area of interest, and to collect data in detail. Then, the girls were able to inspect soil and water samples, write down observations (like color, texture, temperature, etc), and analyze how their observations might affect the intended project. For example, if they “observed” children playing basketball in the area, then working on construction where there is loose soil might be dangerous because it could create a ditch that the children might fall into. After the sample analysis, the girls thought of their own experiment and had some fun by discovering the difference between adding water to a cup of soil, and adding soil to a cup of water (the soil floats!). Finally, the girls wrote and talked about when collecting data or information and making careful observations is important in their own lives (maybe they have a diary to keep their “data” in). It was a great session, and I’m looking forward to next week!