July 11, 2013

For 16 Maine girls, a summer of math and science

The girls are building engines, bridges, energy-efficient windows and experimenting with vermiculture in a program aimed at closing the gender gap.

By Noel K. Gallagher ngallagher@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

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Lona Peter, 15, from Casco Bay High School, upper left, Sahra Ahmed, 14, Deering High School, middle, and Nilab Nasrat, 19, from Portland High School, build a mousetrap car at the Real School on Mackworth Island in Falmouth on July 10, 2013. A group of 16 girls are wrapping up a free, three-week STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) program, working with local companies to solve "real world" problems.

Tim Greenway/Staff Photographer

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Caitlyn Harrison, 16, from Windham High School, tries to figure out how turn a mousetrap into an engine while building a mousetrap car at the Real School on Mackworth Island in Falmouth on July 10, 2013.

Tim Greenway / Staff Photographer

Additional Photos Below

King said she liked the daily "design challenge," describing how her team made tinfoil boats that would float even as they got filled with pennies.

"I hadn't thought about weight distribution before," said King, a sophomore at Windham High School. "It makes you think about real-world problems."

Rahma Ali, 17, liked making energy-efficient windows.

"I can say I helped make that! It's such a great feeling," said Ali, a senior at Deering High School in Portland. "I feel like I could build a window myself now."

The girls speak a mix of languages, Burns Chong said, and some face economic disadvantages or other risk factors. The grant aimed to draw in girls who were interested in math and science but might otherwise not be able to attend a specialty program.

The girls were selected by principals in the Portland and Windham school districts.

The grant paid for child care for girls who would otherwise be unable to attend because they have to take care of younger siblings during the summer. That turned out to be seven young children, who were watched by child-care workers down the hall from where the girls worked on their projects.

"It's been wonderful," said Caitlin Harrison. "It's given me a chance to meet new people and show what I can do. I love it."

Noel K. Gallagher can be contacted at 791-6387 or at:

ngallagher@pressherald.com

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Additional Photos

click image to enlarge

Caitlyn Harrison, 16, from Windham High School, left, and Tiffany Anderson, 16, from Windham High School, react as David West, an Americorps science teacher, places a set mousetrap on the table right before the trap went off while helping them build a mousetrap car at the Real School on Mackworth Island in Falmouth on July 10, 2013. A group of 16 girls are wrapping up a free, three-week STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) program, working with local companies to solve “real world” problems.

Tim Greenway / Staff Photographer

click image to enlarge

Chantelle King, 15, from Windham High School, left, and Julia Kaserman, 17, from the Real School, glue a cd for a wheel while building a mousetrap car at the Real School on Mackworth Island in Falmouth on July 10, 2013. A group of 16 girls are wrapping up a free, three-week STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) program, working with local companies to solve “real world” problems.

Tim Greenway / Staff Photographer

 


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