“Let’s Fly to the Air!”

Subbed and Written by Bori Kim

On the windy spring day, I had a wonderful opportunity to sub for Ms. Brittany’s class at YWLCS and to meet with Ms. Karen Staten, the guest scientist for YWLCS girls. Ms. Staten is a Paralegal Specialist at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) at Great Lakes Region.

She had a beautiful presentation displayed before the girls came in. When the girls were all set to have our Sisters4Science session, Ms. Staten asked them, “Tell me one thing like about your school.” The girls were very hesitant to respond. “I don’t know about your school. You need to tell me,” again asked Ms. Staten. One girl said, “I like math class” and “I don’t, but I like music,” another girl followed.

Pilot License

Pilot License

Once everyone was in class, Ms. Staten introduced what FAA is and this governmental organization does. “Every pilot, who navigates the flight on the air, needs a pilot license. They must have it in order to be a pilot,” said Ms. Staten as she showed us an image of the pilot license. She went over what kinds of work the FAA does, such as an air traffic controlling, aircraft engineering, and even spaceship training with NASA. These were big job to do and even so many opportunities for the girls to work in science field! Ms. Staten gave us a task that has a little glimpse of what air engineers do. Calculation. She had two math story problems with equations we could use for us to solve. It was about figuring out the lengths of each wing and its weight.

"Do you have people out there search Malaysia Flight?"

“Do you have people out there search Malaysia Flight?”

After we went over the engineering field, we took a journey to meet, not in person though, African American female pilot and astronaut. Ms. Bessie Coleman and Dr. Mae Jemison. Ms. Bessie Coleman went through so many struggles in her life before she became the first African-American pilot. Of course, there were a lot of obstacles and barriers. Like men who would not want women, especially the young ladylike Ms. Bessie to be a pilot at all. Ms. Bessie, however, made her dream come true. Female pilot as the first African-American! Her life, not just as a pilot, but whole, encouraged all of us not to give in even if we face struggles and have hard times. Another lady we met was Dr. Mae Jemison who flew to outer space. She was a medical doctor, business-person, and even a dancer! Such a fabulous woman! The girls were very curious if she would dance outside of the earth. Ms. Staten smiled and showed us a video. Yes, Dr. J did dance inside the spaceship as she was floating around! We watched another video that taught us how our body would move outer space and what kind of exercise we need to make our body stable outer space. The girls had fun trying to do a strange exercise!

As closing, Ms. Staten gave each girl a folder with valuable information inside. She introduced the Summer Camp that all youth girls can participate. Other good programs and job descriptions as well. I encouraged the girls to find the internships that meet their needs and shared a bit of my internship experience at NASA in Hampton, Virginia. “Every internship you do counts towards your unpredictable life and they make your life fabulous although you do not know where your experience would lead you,” I said.

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Psychology Fun!

March 1, 2014

In today’s class we learned about the world of psychology through a various interactive demonstrations. We started with a reading exercise. The girls were asked first to read words as they were written and then to read the color of each word and time each attempt. It was interesting to note that reading the color of the words was really difficult because the actual word was the name of another color.

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We then did an experiment modelling Pavlov’s experiment. In this experiment, Pavlov rang a bell before feeding his dog. He noted the saliva levels of the dog before he rang the bell and while the dog was eating. He repeated this experiment several times and to record a baseline for both salivary levels. Later, he rang a bell and did not feed the dog and noticed that its salivary levels were the same as if it were eating. This is called conditioning. In this experiment, we measured the girls’ resting and excited heart rates. To get an excited heart rate, the girls jumped up and down around the room. The Pavlovian part of the experiment was introduced as loud clapping before to signal it was time to jump. We repeated this several times and then ended by having the girls  listen to the clapping but not jump around. We saw that some of the girls heart rates increased even though they had not actually done any physical activity!

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We ended the day by finding our blind spots. Blind spots are areas in our field of vision that we cannot see. This is also connected to our depth perception.  We took sheets of paper and held them close to our eyes until a dot on the paper disappeared. We then had the girls close one eye and try to make the end of two pens touch. It was really difficult because their depth perception was significantly decreased!

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Everyone had a great time learning about psychology!!

Let’s Move!

What do you get when you mix a yoga, cool music, and girls who love to dance? A great time! This past week at YWLCS we had the lovely Vienna from Mindful Practices come to teach the girls Hip-Hop Yoga. We started with a fun introduction exercise to get the girls to introduce themselves. One by one, we went in a circle saying our names and simultaneously striking a pose to express our personalities.  We then moved on the a warmup exercise.
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But what is all this movement doing?  Well, yoga has been used for centuries as a relaxation exercise that improves strength, balance and posture. And by infusing it with hip hop we were able to add a cardio portion to really get the girls heart rates up and increase circulation! The dance was taught in sections so that the girls could get everything down and put it all together in the end. The full length dance integrated several poses like the child’s pose, mountain and the king dancer pose and seamlessly transitioned to cool  hip hop dances and that used up most of the space in the hallway! In the end, we put the whole dance to the Katy Perry’s Dark Horse!

 

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After the dance portion, Vienna taught the girls the value of self control. She had each girl take a cotton ball and move it from one end of their hand to the other using only their breath. They even put their hand together and tried to move the cotton balls from one hand to another using the same technique. After several failed attempts to get the cotton ball to stay on their hands the girls finally succeeded-definitely an exercise in patience if nothing else!

The girls truly had a blast moving around this session! It was a nice change of pace from some of our other lessons and a completely different and refreshing approach to understanding our the science of our bodies!