Girl Scout Day (GSD) provides great opportunities for the girls participating in the event and SWE members. Not only are we actually experiencing engineering first hand by learning how to think of new ways to tackle a problem, we are challenged by the students who want to make the experiment but not really pay attention to the “boring stuff”. Thankfully, for the first batch of girls in the baking powder and vinegar experiment rocket experiment, we did not fine-tune everything so we had to go back to the drawing board to see what we could do, all with the input of the girls. We tried different methods to see which one worked the best.
The Girl Scouts were able to experience mechanical engineering through rockets, electrical engineering through making a DDR pad, civil engineering through the creation of a building made from newspaper and tape, and chemical engineering through the making of “flubber.” They were first introduced to the engineering topic the experiment would be about and were questioned to think about what engineers could do and how they could conduct their experiment.
As for the volunteers, some of us looked better before than after the day; however, we enjoyed the time. Some of us smelt like vinegar and had baking soda and vinegar stuck on our clothes, others were better off in terms of the scent department. At the end of the day, the volunteers for the rockets had to develop an experiment that could be mass produced to produce similar results after each testing—a “launch pad”, and excited parents and girl scouts. At the end of the day, all of us learned something and had a great time with these girls and their parents.