GROW sponsored ‘Science and Engineering Jam with the Arts’

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The K-State Girls Researching Our World, or GROW program, sponsored “Science and Engineering Jam with the Arts” event Saturday on campus.

The event was a way to introduce middle-school-aged girls to science, technology, engineering and mathematical fields.

Bre Stout, sophomore in biological and agricultural engineering, said the event was created to get girls interested in science by correlating it with things they are already familiar with such as art, music and dance.

Girls were divided into small groups by age and attended different sessions throughout the day with a K-State student chaperone. The sessions involved hands-on activities incorporating different fields of study such as electrical engineering, biochemistry, food science, kinesiology, physics and math.

Some of the sessions included taking apart speakers and headphones and seeing how they work, extracting DNA from strawberries, learning the science of movement through dance and designing a room with acoustics.

Colgan Powell, 8th grader from Herington, Kan., said she attended the event to because she wanted to see how engineering affected the arts. She said her favorite session was “Groove-ology.”

“I liked dancing and learning different movements that can be made with dance,” Powell said.

Helen Simmons, 8th grader from Manhattan, said she has been attending the GROW events since 6th grade and has liked going to them.

Women in Engineering and Science outreach coordinator Susan Arnold Christian, said the event also showed girls how they can merge their passions in art, dance or music with science, technology, engineering and math fields. She said the fields really compliment each other in many ways.

“Many girls tell us, ‘I really like my science and math classes but I don’t want to give up my music or dance or art,'” Christian said. “We wanted to show them that it’s not about one or the other.”

This has been the third year GROW has sponsored the “Science and Engineering Jam with the Arts.” Christian said depending on the date, the event typically gets about 50-80 girls from all over Kansas.

Sam Marin, junior in industrial engineering, said she had a lot of fun working with the girls and introducing them to engineering, and it has become a passion of hers.

“My favorite part is knowing I’m making a difference in the girls’ lives,” Marin said. “I like being that support for them.”

Lindsey Walker, junior in nuclear engineering, said she has been involved with GROW for three years.

“I like the actual activities, and it’s a good time,” she said. “It’s great to encourage math and science, but I think it’s just fun.”

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