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STEM Education in Botswana: Girls Getting Geeky

by Stepping Stones International
STEM Education in Botswana: Girls Getting Geeky
STEM Education in Botswana: Girls Getting Geeky
STEM Education in Botswana: Girls Getting Geeky
STEM Education in Botswana: Girls Getting Geeky
STEM Education in Botswana: Girls Getting Geeky
STEM Education in Botswana: Girls Getting Geeky

This round of Design Squad Global participants found it thrilling. Their     challenge was to design and build a device that can be used to drop a container from a height of at least 1 metre and safely land upright.

During this session, the participants focused on strengthening their understanding of the design process by focusing on the brainstorming and design steps. The participants discovered ways to design a shock absorbing system that protects a container as it drops to the floor. They decided to design a parachute like device by reusing materials from offices and the kitchen such as papers cups and shopping bags.

As they were building their design, one participant mentioned, “To make the device fall slowly, we have to make the hole in the plastic (canopy) that’s holding the container so that when it falls the air gets trapped inside and slows its fall."

                                               

 

The invention not only pushed the youth to be innovative but they investigated and learned how gravity works. The youth said that they will take the invention and share it with their friends and teachers at school. One girl mentioned, “We learned about gravity in our science class at school and it was difficult to understand because there was no practical to it and now from this experience it is clear!”

Stepping Stones International is extending STEM Geeky Girls and partnering with Technopolis in Belgium through November 2017. The youth from Belgium will interact, email, share ideas with the youth in Botswana on new creations. This will be an opportunity for both a cultural and technological exchange.

       

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Design process
Design process

Thank you to the donors who have contributed to STEM Education in Botswana: Girls Getting Geeky.  To date, the project has raised over $5,000. We are nearly there! Continuation of the STEM project is dependent upon reaching our goal of at least $6,000.

This round of Design Squad Global (DSG) had 15 participants.  We asked a few of the participants what they thought of their experience in engineering.  One youth commented, "I liked that we learned to think differently, design and evaluate things. I use what I have been taught and use my skills in every day life."  

One of the designs the participants created was the "Pop Fly".  This is a device that launches a light weight ball to hit a target.  The girls used the design process to guide their planning and thinking.  Basic materials such as paper cups, duct tape, skewers, string, plastic bottles, cardboard and sticky tape were used to construct this device which can be used by low income children for play.

The participants continue to be encouraged to use the design process and engineering skills to creatively solve problems in everyday life.  Ingenuity and imagination are the crux of designing and carrying out a plan.  One girl explained, "I use the skills I learn from the STEM Education in my design and technology class in school.  I have taught my friends new skills."

Without the support of donors, our girls wouldn't have the chance to explore their inner geek.

The Pop Fly final product
The Pop Fly final product
Aspiring engineers at work on the Pop Fly device
Aspiring engineers at work on the Pop Fly device
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Organization Information

Stepping Stones International

Location: Salt Lake Cty, UT - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @SteppingStonesIntl
Project Leader:
Lisa Jamu
Salt Lake Cty, UT United States
$8,121 raised of $10,000 goal
 
121 donations
$1,879 to go
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