This year, PAW had to opportunity to participate in the Expanding Your Horizons (EYH) STEM Career Day on Jan 31, 2015, which was a full day of science enrichment that includes a mini career fair, break out sessions, speakers, and a chance to for 6-8th grade girls to work with Penn State students, graduate students, and faculty. Young women had the chance to ponder their future in STEM disciplines. See the website for more information about the event.
First, the event started off with a Career Fair where young women and their parents could go around to different booths and find out about different opportunities for careers in the STEM fields. PAW made a very glittery poster outlining all of the different career path that studying physics could lead you, which was based off of a physics.org site (which is pretty cool, you should check it out!). Below are pictures of Beatrice, Melissa, and Anne-Sylvie with our lovely poster at the Career Fair…
Then, PAW hosted one of the workshop sessions called “Squishy Circuits” which was inspired by the Playful Learning Lab at the University of St. Thomas and allowed the girls to create their very own electrical circuits using Play Doh. Using Play-Doh, batteries, LEDs, and buzzers, the girls were able to use these materials to determine which Play-Doh was conductive and to try to get their LEDs to light up!
Afterwards, the girls were given their creation (LEDs plus the Play-Doh) to take home, as well as a handout describing how to make the insulating and conducting Play-Doh and where to buy the batteries.
You can find the slides and the handout from this workshop below. Give the experiment a try, it’s a lot of fun!