Youth STEM Series: Get Women in Science and Engineering 2015

Institution: Michigan Technological University
Funders (6)
Views (0)

Why This Project Is Important 

All too often, the middle school years broaden the gender gap in science, technology, engineering, and math -- girls begin to lose interest. The Get WISE workshop aims to inspire young women to reconnect with their creative problem-solving skills and introduce them to the world of engineering.

Project Description 

In an effort to bridge the gender gap between boys and girls as it applies to science, the Center for Pre-College Outreach (CPCO) co-sponsors a workshop on Michigan Tech's campus called Get WISE -- Get Women in Science and Engineering. The Western UP Center for Science, Mathematics, and Environmental Education partners on this event, which impacts 250 students each year. 7th and 8th grade girls from the western Upper Peninsula are invited to spend the day at Michigan Tech, where they participate in a range of activities to reconnect them with the exciting, dynamic world of engineering. Participants compete in three to four challenges, which include projects like: building and testing a bridge with household materials, creating a device to travel across the room into target zones, or designing a simple device that will stay airborne for as long as possible. Each activity is prefaced by an introduction to various physics concepts, hosted by the Center for Teaching and Learning, which will give them hints and techniques to apply to their designs. During lunch, they meet female role models enrolled in graduate and undergraduate programs at Michigan Tech; during the panel discussion, the girls are able to ask questions of these successful STEM women. As bonuses to their creativity, hard work, and introduction to role models, each participant receives a completion certificate, a Get WISE t-shirt, and a goodie bag filled with giveaways from assorted Michigan Tech departments and organizations. At its core, Get WISE is a day about exploration. The students work in teams with girls from other schools. They solve engineering puzzles using creative solutions. Sometimes their designs are stellar, and sometimes they need improvement -- either way, they've exercised the scientific method and enjoyed the process along with their teammates.

Meet the Researchers

Liz Fujita

Liz is a Coordinator at Michigan Tech's Center for Pre-College Outreach. Her outreach focus is on programs to benefit local students: GEAR UP (11th grade college readiness), after-school STEM clubs, and events for local students (including Get WISE and Engineering Olympics). She graduated from Michigan Tech in 2012 with a dual degree in mathematics and social science.

Cody Kangas

As Director of the Center for Pre-College Outreach at Michigan Tech, Cody leads a team of six to deliver three innovative university flagship operatives--Mind Trekkers, Summer Youth Programs, College Access Programs--as well as develop the Pre-College Innovative Outreach Institute. Prior to coming to Michigan Tech in 2008, Cody worked in several academic and athletic outreach programs, including Ann Arbor Public Schools and the United States Olympic Committee. While at Michigan Tech Cody has served on a number of task forces and steering committees, managed the delivery of innovative outreach programming for several hundred-thousand students and families through federal and private-funded sponsors, and created effective partnerships with stakeholders across K-12 schools, industry representatives, and non-profit organizations. Cody holds an MAED in Postsecondary Leadership from Michigan State University, and a BA in Sport Management from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. He is a proud father of two girls and spends his free time with his wife and family, traveling, and playing the guitar.

Ask a Question or Leave a Comment

Please log in or register to post questions or comments.

of $2,500 fund goal
The average donation for this project is $230
days left
Funding is Closed

What Your Donation Can Help Us Do: 

  • Purchase materials for three to four hands-on engineering challenges
  • Provide take-home lessons and kits for participating teachers
  • Provide venue and lunch for around 250 students, 20 teachers, 30 volunteers, and 10 role model speakers

$5+ 6 Funders

A huge thank you and added to our email list to receive photos and news after the event

$15 2 Funders

All of the above, plus a Mind Trekkers wrist band to show your love for STEM

$25 0 Funders

All of the above, plus copies of the lesson plans used at the event

$50 1 Funder

All of the above, plus a Summer Youth Programs water cup

$100 3 Funders

All of the above, plus a Get WISE event t-shirt

Recent Donors

Some donors may be hidden.
Elizabeth's picture
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous's picture

Gifts to projects listed on SUPERIORIDEAS.ORG are received and processed by Michigan Tech Fund. Michigan Tech Fund is a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code acting on behalf of Michigan Technological University. It is the policy of Michigan Tech Fund that a portion of the gifts and/or income therefrom may be used to defray the costs of raising and administering the funds.