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Monday, August 7, 2017

A week for girls to geek out and learn at College Hill library

A week for girls to geek out and learn at College Hill library

After spending a week at Geek Girls camp at College Hill Library, the 30 students’ brains were exploding after everything they learned from Westminster and Front Range Community College (FRCC) staff. The brainchild of Applications Specialist Jean Ward, Geek Girl Camp 2017 was from Monday, July 31, to Friday, August 4. The camp consisted of girls from ages 9 to 11 who spent five afternoons learning about programming, blood spatter, physics, water sampling and statistics.

“I learned about the concept during a conference I went to in spring 2016,” said Ward. “I formed the camps’ curriculum around STEM and found volunteer presenters with the city and FRCC.”

Monday’s activities included using VR headsets, augmented reality art and programming robotic toys using an iPad, including a Sphero BB-8 toy.  The campers programmed their robots to follow an obstacle course.

On Tuesday Senior Criminalist Ivanie Meier and Senior Criminalist Chandra Thurston presented on crime scene investigation. The girls measured and analyzed blood spatter patterns in a mock crime scene, dusted for fingerprints, and matched shoe impressions for potential suspects.

Wednesday started with a short walk over to the physics lab at FRCC where they planned a mission to Mars and made balloon-propelled rockets. Ward coordinated with FRCC’s chair of the Science department for the day’s activities.

Water Quality Administrator Mary Fabisiak arrived on Thursday to talk about water quality, water sampling and our water ecosystem. Fabisiak brought a city pontoon boat to explain the real life experience of city water analysis.

On Friday the campers wrapped up the week with math puzzles and statistics.  They also personalized journals to keep all their week’s work in.

“I had lots of support and volunteers from the library, the college and the community to help make this happen, which I really appreciate,” said Ward.

At the end of the week, Ward was already making plans for next year and how to work with an Adams 12 teacher/presenter on improving the programming day using Chromebooks.

“The bottom line is we wanted these young girls to experience technology they haven’t seen before,” said Ward.


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