Workshops in

Girls in STEM Overview

Program for girls Grades 2-6. Seven week curriculum. Wednesdays 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. at The Youth Center.

Week 1: In this workshop, students will learn about Chemistry. Chemistry is the study of matter—its characteristics, behavior and structure. Chemists are interested in the way materials act and react in certain situations, so they produce and observe these reactions, both in nature and artificially in a lab setting. Our students will learn why Chemistry is essential for meeting our basic needs of food, clothing, shelter, health, energy, and clean air, water, and soil. Students will understand why chemical technologies enrich our quality of life in numerous ways by providing new solutions to problems in health, materials, and energy usage. Students will participate in a fun icebreaker fun activity, followed by a hands-on STEM Volcano Experiment.

Week 2: This week’s workshop will discuss weather. Weather is what the sky and the air outside are like, such as cold and cloudy. The weather is more than just wind or rain, but also includes some stunning effects in the sky like rainbows, flashes of lightning, and sunsets. Our lives can be affected by the weather. This is because it is the state of the atmosphere at any time, including things such as temperature, precipitation, air pressure and cloud cover. Daily changes in the weather are due to winds and storms. Seasonal changes are due to the Earth revolving around the sun. Students will understand the effects of weather by conditioning a tornado in a jar experiment.

Week 3: Coding is used to create all sorts of technology, to make jobs easier, to save lives, and to improve lives. People use coding to give computers and other machines instructions on what actions to perform. Further, we use it to program the websites, apps, and other technologies we interact with every day and in a variety of job settings. From artificial intelligence predicting future cancer to making new desserts, to controlling your home thermostat, here are a few ways coding impacts the world around us. In this activity, kids will discover the basics of coding by designing steps of a game through an interactive website.

Week 4+5: Engineering is the process of creating and building structures, products, and systems by using math and science. During the engineering design process, the responsibilities of the engineer may include defining problems, conducting and narrowing research, analyzing criteria, finding and analyzing solutions, and making decisions. Much of an engineer’s time is spent on researching, locating, applying, and transferring information. Indeed, research suggests engineers spend 56% of their time engaged in various information behaviors, including 14% actively searching for information. In this activity, students will get a chance to experience hands on engineering by participating in a marshmallow tower and straw-made roller coaster competition

Week 6: Mathematics, or math, is the study of numbers and how they are related to each other and to the real world. Math is as important as language. In fact, people sometimes describe math as a kind of language. Mathematics is the science and study of quality, structure, space, and change. Mathematicians seek out patterns, formulate new conjectures, and establish truth by rigorous deduction from appropriately chosen axioms and definitions. In this activity, students will get a chance to see how math plays into our daily lives by purchasing and selling goods using play-money.

Week 7: This week will focus on the presentation and public speaking. Although having a strong STEM background is important to be successful, students must learn how to convey their STEM findings to others, in a way that is easy to understand. Students will present their final project to peers and parents, in order to gain presentational skills and gain confidence in their abilities. Additionally, the girls will understand their role as future women in STEM and how to make an impact by using their voice.

Program was created by Los Alamitos High School student Sarah Saadeh in 2022.

Meet Sarah Saadeh

Los Alamitos High School senior, Sarah Saadeh, is bringing a new program to the Los Al area. Driven by her desire to increase female representation in the STEM profession, Sarah hopes to enlighten young girls about the importance of their role in the STEM community. Sarah is a prospective Civil Engineering major and has taken many AP math and science classes throughout high school. While enrolled in these courses, Sarah recognized the disparity between her male and female peers, and wanted to raise awareness to the matter. She designed and developed a “Girls In STEM” camp curriculum that aims to empower young, creative females to engineer a better world for future generations. The workshop is a once-a-week, seven week program that allows girls to gain hands-on experience with chemical experiments, coding, mechanical structure, and so much more. By the end of the course, the girls will create their own project showcasing the knowledge they have learned and present it to their peers within the workshop, as a chance to improve their public speaking and communication skills. Sarah is so excited to work with these young girls and show them the power of STEM!