This weekend was full of fun and creativity at the annual Girls-n-Science (formerly Chicks in Science) expo at Montana State University – Billings. Fourth through eighth grade girls from Billings, MT, and surrounding communities had a great opportunity to participate in hands-on activities including heart health, naturopathic medicine, weather, and — at CTA’s booth — landscape architecture. Girls were invited to design their very own parks complete with slides, ice cream trucks, trees, and many other items. Many thanks to team members Mallory Johnson, Michael Geiser, and Sarah Turner for helping plan and implement this activity!
In addition to the activities geared for all ages, a pre-program in conjunction with the expo called STEM Stars has been implemented over the past few years. CTA Billings structural and mechanical engineers Hollie Mellgren and Allyn Jorgensen spent the morning introducing the girls to our firm and the profession of engineering. The girls were tasked with designing a structurally-sound “tower” utilizing plot paper and masking tape, with one standout team turning their tower into a duck (see image three, above). The buildings were tested to resist all types of loads, but mostly tornado and hurricane-force winds (from a fan). A great day was had by all, and there’s much more to come in the following years.
The goal of the event is to show the younger generation, particularly young ladies, what a career in science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM) looks like. Studies have shown many girls lose interest in STEM curriculum during middle school. If you’re interested in finding out more or how you can volunteer for this or similar events, check out the Montana Girls STEM Collaborative or leave a comment on this post!