Four students from Seabrook Intermediate’s Science Magnet Program recently were given a unique opportunity to participate in an episode of PBS’ program, SciGirls.
SciGirls is a half-hour show that highlights young girls putting STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) to work in their everyday lives. The show aims to engage girls in STEM by following a different group of middle school-aged girls each episode. The girls then design and make their own investigations, with the help of a mentor on a variety of topics.
The students, Katya Licona, Aloyda Lopez, Mariana Rodriguez and Angela Juarez worked with Alma Stephanie Tapia, a NASA Materials Engineer. As the students’ mentor, Tapia guided the girls through the process of creating a water bottle cover that keeps water cold in the Houston heat.
Through this kind of mentorship, young girls can identify with and be inspired to continue having interest in STEM beyond intermediate school so that one day these students can become professionals in any of the STEM-related subjects, which is currently a male dominated field.
“We are looking forward to working with our mentor and exploring with NASA,” said Angela.
SciGirls partnered with Space Center Houston, a nonprofit science and space learning center, and NASA on the SciGirls NASA episode.
“We are dedicated to teach children from around the world about STEM,” said Meridyth Moore, spokeswoman for Space Center Houston. “As a science and space learning center, we want to inspire children to pursue a career in STEM.”
SciGirls required the girls to present and explain their science-inspired creation in Spanish and English to a group of visitors at Space Center Houston.
“Being bilingual was very helpful in getting selected for this program,”Aloyda said.
Three of the students attended bilingual classes at the elementary level in Clear Creek ISD but all speak Spanish fluently mostly at home with their parents and family and friends.
The four students could not hide their excitement about the possibility of applying some of the concepts they have learned while in Seabrook Intermediate’s Magnet Program.
“There are so many possibilities and anything you do every day is related to science,” Mariana said.
The girls were thrilled to be a part of this project and have received so much unconditional support from their parents, Janet Larsen, the Science Magnet Program Liaison, other science teachers and school leadership.
“We have not done anything like this before and never thought we would be given this opportunity,” Katya said with a smile.
In the future, all four girls hope to pursue careers in STEM-related fields. Katya wants to be an anesthesiologist, Aloyda wants to be either a doctor or astronaut, Mariana is considering a career as a surgeon and Angela is interested in becoming a pediatrician or psychologist.
Katya, Aloyda, Mariana and Angela were filmed during six consecutive days in December by PBS. The show will air sometime in the Fall of 2017 or Spring of 2018.