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.
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 this year's SciTech program was the Tech Challenge, in which students must problem-solve and design inventions to complete a specific task. This year's scenario: "Scientists and engineers are considering the feasibility of sending mining missions to selected asteroids and returning valuable minerals to the Earth. The first step in an ambitious program like this would be to send an unmanned probe to an asteroid to determine the extent to which it contains valuable minerals."
In the asteroid challenge on March 2, girls from the Fleet’s SciTech after school program designed and tested devices for an earth-based test to safely deploy scientific instruments from a spacecraft to three specific areas on a simulated asteroid. This competition was viewable to the public in the Science Center and many community scientists were participating as judges.
Armed with various launch devices and a dedication to teamwork, ingenuity, engineering and science, the young students of SciTech blew everyone away with their quirky-cool launchers, focused attention to their task and their spirited dedication to succeed under pressure. Team names included Llamacorns, Team Engineers, and the Super Asteroids. It was a day enjoyed by all!
Click here for more information on the challenge scenario
Funding for SciTech is provided by the Motorola Foundation, Goodrich Foundation, Beyster Foundation, NASA and Time Warner Cable.