“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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Welcome-Back Day

By Bori

We have waited so long for Sisters4Science to get restarted this semester!  The girls were so excited to come in the Sisters4Science class!  The girls were running into the classroom all the way from the hallway, giving me a warm fuzzy hugs!

I jotted down the following journal prompt to open the class: “What would you like to do in Sisters4Science this semester? You may list your ideas and explain why.”  One response caught my eye.  Faith wrote, “Let the lesson be interesting. Surprise me.”  Most girls always love hands-on learning.  They do not think Science is boring anymore.  By revisiting the Code of Conduct we created in the beginning of the year, we had a whole group discussion—what we’d like for this class to be like this semester.  All girls were very passionate making a positive learning environment.  I always love seeing the girls come up with their own ideas to make Sisters4Science so wonderful!

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Moving onto the next mission we had, we were working on the recruitment strategy.  We needed more girls to keep this class going.  I said, “Most girls think Science is boring.” “No, actually not. Everything is hands-on!” claimed Ashley.  “Yes, that’s right! All of you are the witness.  That’s why I am asking for your help to recruit the girls.  Any ideas?”  “I can make a list of 8th graders and we can start from there,” said Faith.  “Thank you, Faith.” So we have set up the schedule for a recruitment party.  It will be next Wednesday!

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Last mission before the class ends, we were packing the most critical items for the emergency moon landing at a spot 200 miles from a rendezvous point.  There were 15 items listed and we were to find which one is the most or the least critical for the survival.  The senior girls were very interested in searching the items. “It’s fascinating!  I love it!” said Shelby.  “I don’t think we need matches at all. It wouldn’t work up there.”  “I have water come first.  Without food it is fine, but we can’t survive without water.  Our body needs water.”

I loved just listening to their on-going science conversation!  They did such a fabulous job!  We are all looking forward to another amazing semester in Sisters4Science.

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)!

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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.”

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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.

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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!

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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.”

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