Walnut Valley Unified School District

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Ready, Set, Build!

February 28, 2017

WALNUT, CA--On Monday, twenty South Pointe Middle School 8th grade girls were exposed to the fascinating world of engineering at Cal Poly Pomona.

Introduce a Girl to Engineering day is a national movement that shows girls about the creative and collaborative world of engineering, and how engineers are changing our world.

About 100 middle school students from area schools converged on the university’s Bronco Student Union for the outreach event.

Cal Poly’s Women in Engineering club led hands-on activities aimed at generating an excitement about pursuing future careers.

The middle school students worked with their college mentors during four rotating sessions that introduced electrical, mechanical, civil engineering and binary coding skills.

In the civil engineering session, the girls clustered around tables to design and build pint-sized bridges from wooden sticks that were strong enough to hold 20 pounds.

In the adjacent classroom, students learned electrical engineering skills to build a simple motor.

Brianna Yang and Chelsea Woo collaborated while threading brass pins through a safety pin, wrapping with fine wire, and attaching to a battery pack.

“I like solving problems and being able to design!” Yang said.

“We’re doing Autodesk (engineering software) and 3D sketches at school right now.” 

In another class, Nina Ouchi and Melissa Robeiro showed off binary coding bracelets they created during the first session.

“Now we know the codes for our initials!” Robeiro beamed. “Dark box, light box, dark, dark, light, dark, light, dark – that’s an M.”

“This coding is hard, but I got the hang of it!” added Victoria Jiang.

Other groups worked with a stack of parts, wires, batteries, and glue guns to build tiny electric cars. 

The girls meticulously assembled wheels by placing wooden skewers through straws, and then topping with bottle caps.

“If I move this part with the battery and wires, the tire will spin. It’s been a fun day!” said Alyssa Jaramillo.

Cal Poly mechanical engineering major Breann Garcia led electric car activity.

“Our goal is to give them a little more sense of what it is,” she explained. “Mechanical engineering is the broadest range of engineering, there are so many different fields you can go into!”

If the students seemed comfortable with the tasks at hand, they were.

The South Pointe students are involved in STEAM III and Project Lead the Way classes on campus.

“I do this all the time at school,” Jarmillo said.

“This has been a great day for our girls!” commented PLTW science teacher Kellie Muragishi, who was happy her students got a chance to see all the females working in the engineering department.

“It showed our girls that science, math, and engineering isn't just for boys. And girls are just as good, if not better at it!”

By Kelli Gile, Office of Community Resources

Shown:

Twenty South Pointe Middle School girls experienced the field of engineering at Cal Poly Pomona on Feb. 27. 

South Pointe 8th grader Brianna Yang utilizes electrical engineering skills to assemble a motor. 

Girls Engineering Day! South Pointe 8th grader Madeline Weng builds an electric car with the help of Cal Poly engineering student Breann Garcia

Madeline Weng launches her electric car during Introduce a Girl to Engineering day at Cal Poly Pomonon Feb. 27

South Pointe 8th graders Victoria Jiang and Angela Zhou show off initial coding bracelets. Students completed projects in four engineering sessions held on Feb. 27 at Cal Poly Pomona.  

South Pointe girls learn to make simple motors at Cal Poly Pomona on Feb. 27. Shown: Brianna Yang, Chelsea Woo, and Kylie Min. 

Team Work! Victoria Jiang and Angela Zhou build an electric car during Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day at Cal Poly Pomona. 

South Pointe 8th graders Brianna Yang and Chelsea Woo collaborate while building electric motors at Cal Poly Pomona on Feb. 27

STEAMing Ahead! South Pointe 8th grader Alyssa Jaramillo builds an electric car during a Cal Poly engineering event for girls on Feb. 27