One of the most important objectives of PAW is to inform people about the idea of women in sciences in general, and in physics and astronomy in particular. There are many issues that are generally unknown, the first one being the gender bias — both male and female scientists are unwittingly subjected to it (see the Resources Page for more information on these ideas).
PAW also organizes activities for kids to spread popular concepts in physics and astronomy and get them excited about science! We want to make these subjects more accessible and enjoyable for everyone. Moreover, we believe that women explaining science to children – rather than giving a formal speech – will be more effective in teaching them about gender equality in STEM fields.
Please feel free to browse the images below of some of our previous outreach events and stay tuned to the website/listserv to find out about upcoming outreach opportunities! You can find out more details about specific events under the Events Page.
Check out this AWESOME video made by PSUScienceU about EYH STEM Day that PAW participated in. THIS IS WHY WE DO OUTREACH!
The funding for our Squishy Circuits outreach activity came from the AAUW State College Branch Mini-Grant Program. For more information about the grant and how you can apply, see their website!
Upcoming Outreach Events (Mark your calendars!)
- Check back soon for an updated schedule!
Previous Outreach Events…
2016-2017 school year events
Outreach activities we participated in this year include Arts Fest, State College Exploration U, Bald Eagle Exploration U, Expanding Your Horizons, and the Science Expo at Ferguson Elementary School. A few pictures are below. Our main activity for this year was Magnetricks
“Science and Art Expo” at Ferguson Elementary School – March 2016
EYH STEM Career Day at Penn State – January 2016
Fall Festival of the Port Matilda Elementary School – November 2015
Exploration-U: Bellefonte Science Night – November 2015
Haunted-U Halloween Science Event – October 2015
Higher Achievement Program Awards Outreach Opportunity – August 2015
This year, PAW did the squishy circuits demonstration with Higher Achievement scholars who were at Penn State for a summer program. See the details below…
“Higher Achievement’s rigorous afterschool and summer academic program closes the opportunity gap for middle school youth in at-risk communities. The program’s proven model provides a rigorous year-round learning environment, caring role models, and a culture of high expectations, resulting in college-bound scholars with the character, confidence, and skills to succeed. On average, 95% of scholars who complete Higher Achievement advance to top academic high school programs and 93% advance to college. Scholars are from at-risk, underserved communities in Washington DC who are completing rigorous after school and 6 week Summer Academy with this culminating overnight university trip to introduce them to college options to which they may not ordinarily have access (80% of the scholars will be first generation college students and students come from schools with at least a 75% free and reduced lunch rate). To learn more about the highly successful Higher Achievement Program, see the Website. Approximately 80 7th and 8th grade students will be making the trip to PSU. The students are divided into small groups who visit many labs and facilities on campus.”
We believe that our squishy circuits demonstration was be wonderfully engaging and informative for the students attending the college visit.
KidsFest at the Centre County Arts Fest – July 2015
One of our favorite outreach events of the year is definitely the KidsFest Science booths at the Arts Festival and it has become a tradition for PAW to participate. This year we used the Squishy circuit demonstrate to teach the general public (both kids and adults alike!) all about current, resistance, and conductivity. Our PAW members were joined by summer REU students and high school students from the Upper Bound Math and Science program and everyone had a great time; even the rain wasn’t too much of a problem =) Check out some pictures below.
Park Forest Middle School STEM Fair
This year, PAW had a booth at the Park Forest Middle School STEM Fair where many different groups from the scientific community did science demonstrations for the middle school students to show them how fun and interesting science can be. We did our Squishy Cirucits demonstration in which we taught the students about electricity and circuits while having fun with play-doh! The students (and us!) really seemed to enjoy it.
Exploration-U: State College STEM Night
On March 24, 2015, PAW, among 40 other groups, participated to the Exploration U Science Night which attracted about 700 persons. With our squishy circuits activity, we attracted numerous children and families eager to learn more about electrical circuits. Check out thisAWESOME VIDEO about the night!
Expanding Your Horizons STEM Career Day
PAW hosted a session at the EYH STEM Career Day, 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.
PAW did a workshop 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. For more info on Squishy Circuits, see here.
PAW’s involvement in EYH was a huge success. First, we got to show a whole bunch of middle school girls how awesome physics is by showing off our beautiful glittery poster on different career paths that an education in physics can take you. Then, we were able to teach them about electrical circuits by playing with insulating and conducting Play-Doh. It was a great day! Check out the VIDEO that captures the excitement that was present throughout the day. More pictures can also be found here. Kelly Malone was even in theCollegian’s report on EYH!
Cookie Fundraiser for United Way State College
PAW was able to help the physics department raise $137 for United Way State College by baking cookies and giving them out for donations at the Osmond-Davey overpass. We also spent a relaxing Sunday afternoon together (Nov 2) baking the cookies at Susan’s place while watching movies. We were happy to raise money for a great cause such as United Way, which is a non-profit organization focused on providing funds and support for improving communities.
Eberly College of Science Welcome Carnival – August 2014
ArtsFest Kids Day – July 2014
ArtsFest Kids Day 2013
ArtsFest Kids Day – July 2011