March 20, 2015 – written by STEM Facilitator, Eugenia Ruiz
On this chilly day, at Frederick Funston Elementary School, the Sisters4Science girls were ready to start the program! Today’s visiting scientist of the day was Ms. Maria Ayala. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D in Immunology at the University of Chicago. She gave the girls a mini lecture on what immunology is. The girls were intrigued at learning why they got sick and what is the difference between viruses and bacteria. The activity today was to have the girls create their own virus. They had to: name it, tell us what it did, and draw a picture of how it looks like under a microscope. At first, the girls were kind of hesitant as to how creative they could get with the virus. One of the students, Elisa, was curious if her virus could make someone smell like flowers. Once they realized that the virus can be about absolutely anything that their heart desires, they went creative crazy!
One by one, they went up in front of the class and presented their virus! Because they had the opportunity to create their virus however they wanted, it was necessary for them to tell everyone why their virus had that. Each girl told the class what their thought process was with their virus. Emely named her virus “CET” and it came from Canada. The symptoms of the virus is not remembering anything and getting several head aches. One student, Julie, said her virus makes you dream of cats! It was hilarious! She even drew a picture of cats within the dream and cats surrounding the person’s bed. It was fantastic seeing the girls get comfortable with being creative and not afraid to express their ideas, incorporating some fantastic scientific aspects! The girls had a really great time with Ms. Maria! Thank you so much for an awesome program! Till next time!