Reflections of Knowledge at the Anti-Cruelty Society!

On Friday, May 29th, roughly 30 Sisters4Science from Ariel, Funston, Woodson, and Carter gathered at

ROKthe Anti-Cruelty Society downtown to share some of their favorite hands-on activities from the spring semester, and celebrate a year of hard work and dedication.

Greeted by Precious, the Anti-Cruelty Society’s Ambassador Dog, the girls filled the room with excitement, fueling up on pizza and getting their activities ready to share with the entire group. Natasha Smith-Walker kicked off the program, thanking the girls for all of their hard work, and welcoming the parents and scientists who were there to support them.

Small groups from each of the four schools gave short presentations of their favorite activities, showing how they work and explaining the scientific principles behind them. Crowd favorites included “banana sutures” from the Funston girls (supported by surgeon and frequent S4S guest Dr. Florence Mussat), explanations of luminescence and density from Ariel, lessons on making elephant toothpaste from Carter, and tornados in a bottle from Woodson.

Elephant toothpaste 2

To end the program, the dynamic STEM facilitators presented each of the girls they’ve been working with all semester with a certificate to acknowledge their dedication and growth.

Thanks to parents, scientists, and friends who came to support the Sisters, including the Motorola Mobility ladies from the recent Spring Science Camp. The knowledge, humor, and teamwork of these wonderful girls have made this a great year for S4S, and we hope to see them all back in the Fall.

Dr. Mussat and the Funston crew

S4S is made possible with support from the Chicago Foundation for Women, Department of Family and Support Services, Siragusa Foundation, and the REAM Foundation. Essential partners include Logan Square Neighborhood Association and Citizen Schools. Facilitators chilling

NSW laughing 3Banana suture 1

ED Natasha Smith-Walker with the Motorola Mobility ladies

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Final Ariel Meeting!

May 26th, 2015 – written by STEM Facilitator, Nedum Aniemeka

May 19 - 5 With the end of the season Reflection of Knowledge just a couple of days away, the girls are hard at work finishing their presentations for the special event! Today, the girls had some time to add more detail to their presentations and were able to practice their projects. Most of the girls have experience talking in front of people but they wanted to make sure they were comfortable enough with the material that they could present it clearly to the audience. What a great idea!
To start off the day we did a quick physical activity. The girls wanted to do something that would give them a quick energy burst, so we decided to do a quick game of Shake It Out! Shake It Out is basically a way for you to shake out any stress and tightness you may have in your body. To start, you shake one arm 10 times by counting down from 10, then you shake the other arm, then your legs in the same fashion. You continue shaking each limb and count down each time until you’re eventually left with no shakesMay 19 - 3! The girls loved it and were ready to continue on their projects by the end of the activity.
After that, each of the girls worked on finishing their presentations. Antoinette was one of the first to finish, so she practiced her presentation for me. She was great! After that, Shaniya, Alanah, Antimia, and Lyric also got to practice their public speaking. The girls seemed super prepared and I can’t wait to see them present at the Reflections of knowledge event on Friday!

Almost Ready for Funston’s Demonstrations!

May 22nd, 2015 – written by STEM Facilitator, Eugenia Ruiz
May 22 - 1 The girls at Funston Elementary were beyond ready for today’s Sisters4Science session. It was the week before Reflections of Knowledge and they already had an eventful day at Girls Health and Science Day.To start off the session, we all sat around in a circle and talked about our favorite parts of the day. Lizette Barrios said that her favorite part was the yoga session. She had never done yoga before and it was an interesting May 22 - 2experience for her. Another student, Emely Concepcion, said that her favorite part was learning about the healthy ways to eat.
For the rest of the session, the girls got to work with creating their posters. There were three presentations: Sutured Banana, Radios, and Rockets! The girls each got their supplies and split up to work on the presentations. Emely and Lizette worked on Sutured Banana they had a chance to practice with Dr. Florence Mussat. Lizvette, Victoria, and Lizbeth worked on Rockets and recreating the experiment they learned from Dr. Judy May 22 - 3Lubin the week before! Julie Astudillo, Julie Concepcion, and Niyah Simpson worked on the Radio presentation that they learned from Dr. Michelle Harris. I had the girls write their presentations on bright colored posters and they used bright paper to use as their titles. It was fantastic to see the girls enjoy working together for their presentations. They were all ready for the Reflections of Knowledge! Now to just wait for the day to come. Until then!

Rocking at the Woodson WOW!

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015 – written by STEM Facilitator, Kiara Byrd

May 19 - 2 The WOW Event is finally here!!! The Woodson girls were anxious but they were more than ready to show people how much fun they had being scientists. This day was big for some girls to show their parents what they were able to do on their own. There were some girls were a little more nervous. Alana came to me that she was a little nervous and said because her family usually don’t come to events to support her. I told Alana that she is an amazing girl and that I would personally take pictures of her presenting and let her have them to show her family what they missed out on. She gave me the biggest hug and thanked me. This only motivated her to be even more focused and ready while presenting. She did an AWESOME job.

At the WOW, guests were able to roam and visit the experiments of their choosing. This May 19 - 4allowed the girls to present more than once which is great practice on how it is to present to multiple crowds. With the tornado experiment, Rachel did a great job in explaining the importance of knowing how a tornado forms. Denay did a great job in presenting the purpose of the experiment and what she actually learned for herself about tornadoes. Coke and Mentos had most of the girls in this group. They learned how to take turns and to make sure to speak up so many people can hear them. I was impressed to see that Aaquila, Semajah, and Asia went the extra mile to make sure the group was doing everything they were supposed to do. A question did come up on what causes the coke to erupt out the bottle. Jailon was the one to correctly answer that carbon dioxide was involved in the eruption.  It was so impressive to see the girls using their knowledge to each others!
May 19 - 3At the end of the WOW, I let every single one of our Woodson sisters know they really came a long way and it showed today. Alana gave me another hug and really appreciated me being their for and taking pictures for her. Support is sometimes all these kids need to push them toward their success!

Prepping for Reflections of Knowledge at Ariel!

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015 – written by STEM Facilitator, Nedum Aniemeka

May 19 - 2Today, the girls began their prep for their Reflection of Knowledge presentations! The Reflection of Knowledge is an event that Project Exploration puts on for the girls of Sisters4Science at the end of each season. It’s meant to be a time for the girls to reflect on all of the things they’ve learned at Sisters4Science, as well as share all of their great new knowledge with friends and family. The girls were all very excited to get to show everyone what they’ve done, because they said they wanted everyone to know as much about science as they now did!

To get the creative juices flowing, the girls and I did a quick physical activity as a study break. Because they had been sitting down all day in class, I wanted to make sure they weren’t too blocked up to think of some awesome ideas for their posters! A’nise suggested that we play a round of zip zap zop because it required quick-thinking and keeping alert. The girls love that game, so it was a great way to get their creative juices flowing.
After our physical activity, the girls all had to decide which experiments they wanted to use for their presentations. Shaniya chose to do her presentation on Luminescence, Nyssa and Lyric decided to do their presentation on the surgical experiment that Dr. Mussatt showed us, and Alanah and Antimia wanted to do their presentation on the banana DNA experiment that Dr. Ana Shulla showed us! The girls were all great about remembering the details of their respective experiments and were very creative with the drawings and figures they put on their posters. Can’t wait to see their final products!

Rockets and Their Amazing-ness!

Friday, May 15th, 2015 – written by STEM Facilitator, Eugenia Ruiz

  May 15 - 5 The day has finally arrived! The girls at the Sisters4Science program at Funston Elementary have been waiting for this day for a long time! Today’s session is all about rockets. To start the day off, we began with a small ice breaker. The girls really loved mimicking each others movements and memorizing everyone else’s so we did that one again. We even included our scientist, Judy Lubin, in our ice breaker. We had so much fun and silliness! We did about three rounds just with that ice breaker.
Our scientist for today is actually a part of the board for Project Exploration. Her name is Judy Lubin. She has a Masters in Economics, yet she is also a civilian scientist. Dr. Lubin explained to the girls that a civilian scientist is May 15 - 3someone who does not have a degree in science yet has a passion for it. Dr. Lubin has a passion for science, more specifically rockets (which is amazing). She brought in a 13 foot rocket that she had built herself. She called it the “Drag Queen” and the girls loved it. Dr. Lubin and I split the rocket in half so the girls were able to see it from the inside. They touched and asked several questions about the rocket. Some questions that the girls asked were: “Where does the parachute go?” and “How much does the rocket weigh?” It was fantastic to see the girls so interested in the rocket.
She talked about how her and her son created these rockets together. She brought in several pictures and even a presentation to show the girls. She even brought a video to show how one of her rockets took off at a competition. The girls were in awe.
may 15 - 6Dr. Lubin began talking about how a rocket can actually blast off. The main ingredient was: pressure. She brought in several little rockets so the girls can work with their own. In each small bag were the rocket itself and alka seltzer tablets.  Judy and the girls went outside and they filled the rocket with 10 mL May 15 - 8of water and placed the tablet inside the rocket. Each girl took their turn to close the rockets, place it on the ground, take several steps back, and wait for it to blast off. The girls’ reactions were AMAZING. They were amazed at the reaction that water and an alka seltzer could have when combined.
Bringing the girls back in, Judy showed the girls the combustion fuel that the rocket would use. Then she asked the biggest question of the day: “How many alka seltzer tablets would it take to help the Drag May 15 - 10Queen take off?” Some of the guesses ranged from 100-1,000. The real answer? It took 2,000 tablets to even have the rocket launch. The girls laughed because it was such a large number. The day ended very well!  The girls loved Dr. Judy and all the knowledge she brought to the session. The girls left super excited and interested in knowing more about civilian scientist. I have to say, it was a great day to be a scientist!

Up, Up, and Away!

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015 – written by STEM Facilitator, Nedum Aniemeka

May 12 - 1 This week at Sisters4Science, the girls of Ariel got a lesson in Aviation with Ms. Karen Staten. Ms. Staten is a paralegal specialist at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and was able to tell the girls everything the FAA does when it comes to flying in the great, big, blue skies. Before Ms. Staten began her lesson, the girls all participated in another game of human knot to get in our physical activity for the day. This time, we had a ew extra girls, and even Ms. Carmichael, our Program Manager, joined in, so we had quite a bigger knot to untangle! Despite tons of twisting and squirming, the huge knot wasn’t as easy to untangle as last session’s knot, and many of the girls ended up in a heap on the ground. Regardless, it was a super fun activity and it got everyone’s blood pumping after a long day of school!
Ms. Staten began her lesson by telling the girls a little about what the FAA does. The FAA basically has the responsibility of making sure that all aircrafts flying in the country are properly tested, that pilots are licensed, and that airports are properly regulated. They also make sure planes are flying safely by controlling air traffic. Thus, the FAA is very important for aviation and without it flying wouldn’t be as safe as it currently is. The FAA even works with spaceship training with NASA!
To test everyone on their aviation knowledge, Ms. Staten asked the Ariel girls if anyone new who Amelia Earhart was. A’nise let us know that Amelia Earhart was the first female aviator to ever fly across the Atlantic Ocean by herself. Speaking of female aviators, Ms. Staten also asked the girls if anyone knew who Bessie Coleman was. Nyssa said that she had heard of her before and knew that she was a black female aviator! Not only that, but she was the first female aviator of African-American descent to May 12 - 4hold an international pilot license. Hearing about these accomplished female aviators was very important to the girls, as it showed them how back then, even when there were so many barriers for women, these ladies were able to accomplish great things in their field! Christiana said learning about them is important because it lets young girls like them know that they can do anything they put their mind to. What a great lesson from Ms. Staten!