SciTech is an after-school program developed by the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center for fourth through sixth grade girls at San Diego elementary schools. The girls meet two hours per week to engage in hands-on science investigations on everything from solar car design to the chemistry of cosmetics. Through project-based learning, the girls make concrete connections to everyday life while developing creative thinking and problem solving skills that they will use throughout their lives.
Apply for SciTech to be at your school for the 2015-2016 school year! [pdf]
SciTech inspires girls to become innovative and creative thinkers by fostering excitement and interest in science, technology, and engineering.
Through inquiry-based, collaborative investigations and interactions with female role models, SciTech aims to:
- Build self-confidence and scientific literacy among girls in San Diego area schools
- Foster an interest in science, technology, and engineering careers
- Make science accessible to girls in underrepresented communities
- Develop connections between girls and the local scientific community
One of the biggest events in the SciTech program is the Tech Challenge, in which students must problem solve and design inventions to complete a specific task. This year’s challenge is Seismic Engineering in Action. In the Earthquake-Safe Structure Design Challenge on March 28th, 2015, SciTech student engineers were challenged to design and build earthquake-safe structures that could withstand various magnitude earthquakes, including a 7.0! Girls from Cherokee Point, Encanto Elementary, Feaster, Rosa Parks, and Logan K-8 built their structures during SciTech using various materials such as wooden blocks, popsicle sticks, pipe cleaners, wooden dowels and constructed them using saws, drills and hot glue. Girls from the Fleet’s SciTech after school program tested their earthquake-safe structures by placing them on a motorized shake table and placing three loads at the top to simulate a weighted building. In 2015, the competition took place in the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center Community Forum and was open for museum attendees to observe.
Armed with their structures and dedication to teamwork, engineering, and science, the SciTech girls impressed an audience of their peers and family with their ability to design robust and resilient structures. The Feaster Charter team finished in first place with their structure withstanding the most violent earthquake our table had to offer with their loads remaining unmoved throughout the two tests! After the competition, the students posed for pictures with their structures, teachers and the shake table. The day was a huge success!
Click here for information on challenge scenarios that you can try with your school!
Funding for SciTech is provided by Qualcomm, the Motorola Foundation, Time Warner Cable, and Cubist Pharmaceuticals.