Women Fly is an annual event hosted by The Museum of Flight for young women interested in aviation and aerospace careers. On March 24th and 25th, Dayton GEAR UP took 12 young women to Seattle, WA to participate in a series of inspirational and career-oriented workshops led by exceptional women working in aerospace related fields.
We started the trip off with a tour of Central Washington University. Before the walking tour, we met with Andrea who talked about academics, admissions, STEM related careers, graduate studies, summer courses and campus safety. The tour gave a unique insight into campus life from a student's perspective. We walked an hour in and out of class room buildings, resident dorms, library, book store and the student union center. It was impressive to all of us.
The theme for Women Fly 2016 was “Into the Future.” Special guest and speaker was Dr. Melania Guerra. Melania is a Costa Rican engineer, oceanographer and scientist, who’s passionate about exploration in extreme environments. She grew up being inspired by life forms that survive under conditions not compatible with supporting human life. The workshops gave the young women ideas of what kinds of careers they can obtain, and what to look for in a STEM program. Some of the workshops were: Accident Investigation & Safety Bingo; Flying Careers; Structures Past, Present, Future; Exploring Saturn with Cassini; Suited for Space; Sustainability-Flying the Weight, the Balance, the Food!; and The Wild Blue Yonder.
Besides attending a workshop of their choice, the girls were able to tour the museum. In the museum there are 27 different exhibits such as Air Force One, and World War I and II. Besides the exhibits, the Museum of Flight has many collections which they acquire and preserve a wide array of materials and artifacts relating to aviation and space history and provides a center for the scholarly research of these materials and artifacts. The Museum holds one of the largest and most comprehensive air and space collections in the United States, containing millions of rare photographs and negatives, a world-class library, tens of thousands of artifacts, and over 150 rare aircraft and space vehicles. Besides the workshops, Women Fly supported a Resource Fair which included Collegeology, Galvin and Rainer Flying Service, Washington Opportunity Scholarship, Women In Aviation, Alaska Airlines, University of Alabama and Idaho and other universities and community colleges.
In December GEAR UP at Southridge hosted a fun Parent Night! We decided to do a spin on the Game of Life and help our students experience the college admission process and what college is like. We based our game on the Game of Life with an expanded college section. Students and parents loved it!
It started with students filling out a simplified college application with their GPA, PSAT scores, & extracurriculars. We gave students a choice of colleges they could apply to. We had 8 college options- with their different requirements and stats. Students could apply to as many as they wanted. Then they were admitted or not based on their GPA & PSAT scores.
Students also had a chance to draw scholarships from the Scholarship Bowl to pay for college. The number of draws was based on the student’s extracurricular activities and the roll of a dice. Students could also draw cards that said they were not selected to win the scholarship. This allowed for some randomness to simulate the chance of winning scholarships.
Students then received a financial aid award based on the school’s average financial aid awards and the student need level. The students then had decided where they were going to go to college.
Then the college part of the game began! The college section had squares modeled after the life game squares for students to move along. The squares said things like “attend freshman orientation take 2 stars” or “skipped class move back one.” We worked to include all the positive and negative experiences students can go through in college. We included study abroad opportunities, failing tests, acing finals, making friends, researching papers, getting a parking ticket, making the dean’s list and changing your major. Students earned stars for each positive experience and had to move back for each negative experience. Students had to stop and pay for tuition every year, by taking out loans, unless they had scholarship(s) that covered the cost.
When students got to graduation, they took a picture with a cap and gown. They then got to job search and depending on their major, they had to wait a certain amount of time to get a job. Then they drew a salary card from either the Low or High Salary Card Bowl, again depending on their major.
Students really enjoyed the Game of Life: College Edition! Although next time we decided that we’ll cap the number of times students have to change their major (which causes them to return to start.)
Students at Dayton High School are taking advantage of GEAR UP support to join a community of scientists in documenting a digital registry of California bee species using a DNA barcoding system.
For animals such as bees, a DNA barcode represents a record of the bee’s genetic fingerprint. Based on this barcode fingerprint, the bee species can be cataloged and information of the bee population’s ecological condition can be followed more efficiently than when using methods previously used.
Dayton High School students are involved in the barcoding project by using biotechnology methods to extract and purify the bee DNA, amplify a short segment of targeted DNA using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and verify the success of the work using DNA gel electrophoresis. The DNA product will be sent away for DNA sequencing, with the DNA sequence then returned to DHS for students to upload to the Barcode of Life Database (BOLD). Each of these procedures are commonly found in research and industry biotechnology labs. Through participation in the barcoding project, Dayton high school students gain valuable experience in biotechnology practices, learn complex molecular life science topics, and develop an awareness for the efforts underway to save diminishing diversity in species such as bees.
“I’m very proud of the students from Dayton High School for being able to perform such a high level, relevant application of biotechnology even though we are far removed from any biotech research lab or industry, said Doug Yenney, science teacher at Dayton High School. “I am amazed at what these students can do in the biotechnology lab”.
This is the third year of DNA barcoding for DHS and this year’s project will continue into the spring of this school year.
On February 24th, twenty Ephrata High School GEAR UP students took a day trip to tour the campus of the University of Washington. The trip started with a campus tour. The students were able to explore Red Square, the Quadrangle and the university’s iconic cherry trees, the quiet reading room in the Suzzallo Library, and Drumheller Fountain. The tour ended at the Husky Union Building, were the students were able to sample a taste of UW’s cuisine. After lunch, the group took a quick detour to the Paul G. Allen Center for Computer Science and Engineering to view the world’s tallest display of LED lights. Afterwards, the group finished up the excursion with a walk through the university district to take a look at the university book store. The students played college and financial aid trivia with staff on the ride home. Accompanying the group was GEAR UP Site Manager Jeff Allsopp, EHS Counselor Rhonda Hagy, and GEAR UP Tutor Claire Hanberg.
After months of planning and tailoring an early outreach message to College Bound students, GEAR UP and WSAC were able to put together a 40 minute presentation to all 10th and 11th grade River View HS students, meeting all pledge requirements (including the 2.0 GPA) on February 17, 2016.
Mrs. Rubio and Teresa Santoy co-presented the scholarship, its history, its intention, and how to access it, to cohort students. The event was attended by 83 total students who were signed up by GEAR UP in 7th and 8th grade at Finley Middle School. The students were divided by grade level and presented scholarship information in two separate sessions.
10th grade students were invited into the River View commons during their 5th period class. 11th grade students were slated for 6th period, after completing their ASVAB test for the majority of the day, their whole day spent in the lecture hall.
Students had college bound folders containing college bound scholarship knowledge: accessing your scholarship instructions, 68 eligible institutions accepting the scholarship in Washington State, and WASFA information in both English and Spanish. Teresa went through a comprehensive power point with students fielding plenty of student driven questions at the end of each presentation. Mrs. Rubio provided anecdotal information about the scholarship based on River View alumni’s experiences at various institutions where the scholarship was awarded.
Some of the aha (or light bulb) moments for students was that they in fact can take a year off from school, or have a break in college. They do not have to go 4 consecutive years; nor do they have to start college in the fall right after graduation. Also, the fact that students planning to apply out of state would not be funded was a game changer in the eyes of some River View students.
Special thank you to WSAC, Teresa Santoy, and Sarah Garza, for all their hard work and partnership in making this event possible for River View College Bound students. On the helm of a major college fair next month, College Planning Day, this event could not have been planned at a better time, or sparked questioning and planning in students in a more cohesive way.