We’re geeking out about the upcoming fourth-ever Science Fair here at the White House this Tuesday, May 27, 2014. We are prepping the halls for wall-to-wall gizmos, gadgets, robots, apps, and science projects – and the amazing kids who created them. To share our excitement about the Fair – and its focus this year on young women and girls in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) – we’ll spend the next few days introducing you to some of the stellar STEM females who are packing up their inventions and research projects and headed to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Girl Scout Troop 2612 – including Avery Dodson, 7; Natalie Hurley, 8; Miriam Schaffer, 8; Claire Winton, 8; and Lucy Claire Sharp, 8 – put their preparedness skills into action as part of the Junior FIRST Lego League’s Disaster Blaster Challenge. The Challenge invites thousands of elementary-school-aged students from across the country to explore how simple machines, motorized parts, engineering, and math can help solve problems posed by natural disasters like floods or earthquakes.
Recalling the recent, damaging summer floods in Estes Park, Colorado, the Troop noticed that first responders weren’t able to easily reach certain communities because bridges had been washed out – and set out to design a solution. The girls invented the “Flood Proof Bridge,” and built a model of their idea – not only mechanizing the bridge using motors and the correct gear ratios, but also developing, from scratch, a simple computer program to automatically retract the bridge when flood conditions are detected by a motion sensor in the river bed.
We asked a few members of the Oklahoma-based Girl Scout Troop some questions about their project and love of all things STEM:
What is the coolest thing about science, engineering, and inventing?
Why do you think it’s so important that everyone participate in science – especially girls?
What inspires you? How do you hope to inspire others?
What most excites you about presenting at the White House Science Fair?
Stay tuned right here all week to meet more of the amazing young women participating in this year’s White House Science Fair, and join the conversation by tweeting “Throwback Thursday” photos of YOUR first science fair @whitehouseostp using #TBTScienceFair.