On Saturday, March 19th, 2016, 15 of our Carnegie Mellon mentors, and 25 of their strong girls threw on their rain boots and raincoats to explore Carnegie Mellon’s Campus. Girls were bussed in from Arsenal Elementary, Liberty Elementary, Grandview Elementary, Faison Elementary, and Boys and Girls Club Wilkinsburg, for a day filled with fun and interactive learning.
The mentors led their strong girls around campus, showing off all the fun activities that go on at Carnegie Mellon! We started the day by being serenaded by a women’s’ flute quartet, with songs from the Wizard of Oz. The girls were so intrigued and were able to ask questions after. Some of the girls even shared that they loved music and that they participate in their school music programs!
With a musical start to our day, we were off to learn about science. On the way, we made a quick detour to the infamous Carnegie Mellon fence. Mentors informed us that this fence on campus is painted differently almost every week, and because of that it is one of the most painted objects in the country!
At our science lesson a Carnegie Mellon Professor, Dr. David Anderson, showed the girls the wonders of liquid nitrogen. The girls watched in awe as Professor Anderson used liquid nitrogen to make metal float, make ping pong balls spin, and most deliciously, make ice cream for all the girls to try! After the showing, the girls talked about their passions for science. Some girls said they “could not wait” to study animals in college, and one girl said she wanted to be a scientist so that she could invent rocket shoes! How cool? After the science exhibit the girls and mentors were all feeling pretty hungry so we left to go get some lunch in the CMU dining hall.
Next, the CMU mentors taught the strong girls about economics by letting them host their own lemonade stands! The girls split into groups and set their prices and picked a company name and started selling. Leaving the lemonade stands, all of the girls had an understanding of supply and demand.
After the economics, the girls jumped right back into science, computer science that is. They listened and interacted to a talk given by one of our very own mentors, Mopewa. Mopewa and her classmates told the girls that computer science was all about solving riddles in creative ways. Then, the girls were given their own riddle to solve, and they succeeded! The computer science talk was a success and the girls realized all of the cool things that they can do with knowledge in computer science.
Now it was time to see computer science come to life! We all headed over to one of CMU’s robotics labs where we met Herb, the butler robot. The girls were instructed to guess how old Herb was, and to our surprise, Herb the robot was 10 years old (like some of our strong girls!). The girls got to watch Herb pick up colored blocks and sort them into different boxes.
Wrapping up the day, all of the strong girls hugged their mentors and thanked them for such a wonderful day. Right before we boarded the busses we could not forget our Strong Women, Strong Girls cheer! Our girls and mentors got together and cheered so loudly that all of Carnegie Mellon’s campus knew how strong we are!
Thank you to the Carnegie Mellon mentors for planning this wonderful and successful field trip!
Authored by: Sarah Best