“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.


Math + Science=Beautiful Music

By Bori

Science is truly an Art! This is what I took from Ms. Coleman’s lesson—designing the pipe instrument.  The girls were absolutely engaged in this beautiful science lesson.  Ms. Coleman started the lesson with explaining what sound frequency is.  As she started, the girls started sharing what instruments they can play and how their experiences help them learn sound frequency.  Faith used to play the flute; Gabby used to play the piano; Micha used to play a guitar and once be in a choir.  Brianna loves listening to the radio.  Even me, as a science facilitator, I do play piano.  We were all familiar with how the waves are created by the sound.

When Ms. Coleman tried to draw the sound frequency pattern, Brianna got up with the marker then came up to the board.  She started to draw one frequency level she knows, “This is what I have seen.”  This was a higher pattern than one that Ms. Coleman has drawn.  Right after Brianna, Faith came up and drew the flat sound frequency.  “You know the flat waves,” responded Ms. Coleman.  Micha brought up a question, “How does this sound frequency work in human body?”  Faith was so passionate responding to Micha’s question, “I think men and women have a different frequency level because men have an Adam’s apple.”  “That’s a good response, Faith,” said Ms. Coleman.  I always love to see the girls sharing their own thoughts and questions back and forth.  No one has left alone.

20131118_165052This concept has really ignited the curiosity.  The girls were so enthusiastic about finding their own voice frequency.  We could discuss our voice levels for a whole class time, but we had to move on—making our own instruments with the pipes!  Ms. Coleman explained how we could figure out the length of the tube for each key note—A, C, D, E, and G—using the sample math equation.

Pipe Length: tube diameter (ours was ¾”)/2 + 13,397.244/freq.*2

Music Notes Frequency
A 440
C 1046
D 587
E 659
G 784



The girls were calculating the length of the tube for each key note by applying the equation. Once the girls had all the lengths figured out, they started making their own pipe instruments!  Ms. Coleman let the girls be creative as they connected each tube into one instrument.  We could use one single tube that has only one key or put them all together as one instrument.  Though each student had their own instrument to work on, the girls were working together, helping the neighbors!  Ms. Coleman and I were helping them play the pipe instrument.  It was very hard to play it in the beginning, but the girls so passionate playing this pipe instrument.  Towards the end, Ms. Coleman conducted the girls playing “Amazing Grace.”  We couldn’t get to the end since time was up, but the girls so much enjoyed playing each part!  We had a mini concert.

“This was a cool experiment,” said Micha.

I couldn’t believe science with math creates the beautiful music!  In Science, there’s Art, Math, even Music—it is amazing!  The more beautiful thing than the sound of the pipe was the harmony the girls have created together.

20131118_165514 20131118_165444

WEEK 2: Exploring Space and Role Models at Woodson

By Tolu

This week we have a smaller group of girls but a young, new addition—6th grader, Ashanta (red sweatshirt)!


After hearing the girls describe their role models in the last session, STEM Facillitator, Tolu, decided to bring in one of her own to discus—astronaut and physician, Mae C. Jemison, the first African American woman in Space. None of the sisters had heard of Jemison before so Tolu gave a quick biographical sketch of Jemison’s life and career. Then, the students talked about what they admired about Jemison. Some said she was “smart.” Others said she  “went after her dreams.”


Afterwards, we dove into a lesson on basic geography, Galileo, Copernicus, and the solar system. We also used a little bit of math to calculate the ages of some of the girls on different planets since the time to revolve around the sun differs on each one.

The girls clearly love math, pulling out their scratch paper to eagerly calculate their ages.


Ashanta (6th Grade) is approximately 40 years old on Venus. Stephanee (7th Grade) is 22 on Venus and Briana (7th Grade) is 6 on Mars. All of them insist that boys, however, are from Jupiter!

WN_Wk2_5 WN_Wk2_6 WN_Wk2_4

At the end of the day, the girls all posed with their National Geographic books on space exploration. Although some (Ashanta) are certain they do not want to become astronauts (especially after seeing Gravity) the girls had found a new role model in Mae Jemison. During our journal time, Briana wrote, “I used to think Mars was the 3rd furthest from the sun. I know its Earth now.”