Thursday UMaine Event to Help Middle School Girls Explore Math/Science Careers

Contact: Anne Schmidt, (207) 581-1259, Joe Carr, (207) 581-3571

ORONO — Hundreds of Maine middle school girls will spend a day at the University of Maine on Thursday March 16, learning about math- and science-oriented careers historically pursued by males.

Coming from all corners of the state, more than 400 girls will attend UMaine’s 20th annual “Expanding Your Horizons” program to get a look at more than a dozen math-science career fields. With fun, hands-on experiments, students will learn about the attributes of apple varieties, state-of-the art wood composites research, the explosive powers of carbon dioxide, how submarines dive and submerge, non-point source pollution, and many other interesting things related to science and engineering.

“Expanding Your Horizons” has been coordinated for the past eight years by the University of Maine Women’s Resource Center with support from the Office of Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost. It is a one-day event designed to increase the interest of girls in mathematics and science through hands-on experiences, foster awareness of opportunities in math and science careers, provide young women opportunities to interact with positive female role models active in math and science careers, and provide opportunities for young women to explore gender socialization and equity issues in a supportive environment.

Visiting students can choose among a variety of 45-minute workshops and will have a chance to tour many of UMaine’s high-tech research facilities, including the Advanced Engineered Wood Composites Laboratory, the Advanced Manufacturing Center and the Electron Microscopy Laboratory in the Laboratory for Surface Science & Technology.

The girls will be mentored by almost 200 teachers from their schools, professional women from UMaine and the community, as well as university students.

A 45-minute welcoming event begins the day at 9 a.m. in Hauck Auditorium. Registration starts at 8 a.m.

Workshop sessions are scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2:15 p.m., with lunch available in the Memorial Union from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. Ceremonies reviewing the day’s activities are scheduled from 2:30-3 p.m. in Hauck Auditorium. Workshops will be held in classrooms and laboratories throughout the campus, but clustered around Jenness, Murray, Neville, Barrows and Sawyer buildings.

Expanding Your Horizons Workshop Schedule

March 16, 2006

Fun Activities with Geometer’s Sketchpad

Aime Gellen, Center Research Associate Lecturer in Math Education at UMaine

Will use the dynamic Geometers Sketchpad software program to explore geometric concepts and create some unique and interesting geometric drawings

(207 Corbett Business Building)

10-10:45 a.m.

11-11:45 a.m.

Sensory Evaluation of Apple Varieties

Renae Moran – Assistant Professor/Tree Fruit Specialist in UMaine Cooperative Extension

Christina Howard – Graduate Student, Dept. of Plant, Soil and Environmental Science

Apple varieties vary considerably in flavor, aroma, texture and appearance. Take the opportunity to sample several varieties and learn why some apples are better than others. Participants will taste several varieties that are either tart or sweet, and firm or soft. Other traits to experience will be crispness, aroma and skin toughness. Two instruments used in measuring fruit quality, the refractometer and pressure tester, will be available for testing sugar content and flesh firmness.

(119 Barrows Hall)

10-10:45 a.m.

11-11:45 a.m.

12:30-1:15 p.m.

1:30-2:15 p.m.

Nursing as a Career

Ursula A. Pritham

Overview of the history of nursing, education required to become a nurse, UMaine nursing program description of different nursing roles, and a discussion of the job market.

(Resource Lab, 1st Floor, Dunn Hall)

10-11 a.m.

Bird Superheroes: From Here to South America in a Single Bound!

Jennifer Long, Doctoral Candidate, UMaine Dept. of Biological Science

An introduction to bird migration and how scientists study birds. topics include how birds know when and where to migrate and how they navigate using the sun and stars. Includes discussion of techniques that scientists use to study migratory birds and the factors influencing migratory bird survival. The workshop will include a hands-on activity where students practice bird identification skills and use field guides to find the breeding and wintering grounds of common Maine migrant birds.

(109 Murray Hall)

10-11 a.m.

11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m.

Women in Engineering

Proserfina Bennett, Managing Director of UMaine’s Pulp and Paper Process Development Center

Students will learn about the papermaking process, potentially observe a pilot-scale paper machine in action, and have some hands-on experience in the laboratory testing paper samples. Participants will also learn information about women and their roles in the papermaking industry.

(Jenness Hall Plant Lab)

10-10:45 a.m.

11-11:45 a.m.

1:30-2:15 p.m.

You Be the Vet!

Peggy Danneman, DVM and MS and Joan Cadillac, DVM and MS, the Jackson Lab

This workshop will give participants an opportunity to review real cases involving sick or injured animals and discuss how to best evaluate and treat the animal. Cases will include “exotic” animals such as wolves and monkeys and will be presented to the students using photographs of the animals taken by the veterinarian as she diagnosed and treated them.

(113 Corbett Business Building)

10-11 a.m.

11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m.

Space Time-Telescopes

Robin Kennedy, Lead Flight Director, Challenger Learning Center

New technology has provided new evidence for some of Albert Einstein’s most astonishing predictions. This presentation will describes some of the revolutionary spacecraft that are helping NASA to explore the limits of space and time. Participants will use hands-on demonstrations to better understand how the spacecraft work.

(180 Hitchner Hall)

10-11 a.m.

11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

1:15-2:15 p.m.

Let’s Talk! Telecommunication Technology

Donna Kitchen, Cable Fiber Repair Technician with Verizon Telephone Company

Participants will discuss different jobs available at Verizon with the focus on voice traveling over copper versus fiber. Will involve splicing copper wires together and splicing fiber optic material using the newest equipment available.

(184 Hitchner Hall)

10-11 a.m.

11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m.

1:15-2:15 p.m.

1:30 — 2:15

Non-Point Source Pollution: A Little Goes a Long Way!

Jean MacRae, Professor of Environmental Engineering

Participants will “pollute” a model of the Penobscot watershed and have a rainstorm, then see what happens to the pollution. Will also discuss where it comes from, what it does in the environment, and what we can do to prevent problems.

(17 Boardman)

11:00 — 11:45

1:30 — 2:15

“Girls Going Global”: An Introduction to Geospatial Technologies

Lisa Phelps, Assistant Professor, UMaine Cooperative Extension

This workshop will offer girls the chance to learn more about geospatial technologies. It will include and introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Global Positioning Systems (GPS). The workshop will include hands-on activities that involve using a computer to explore interactive maps on the state office of GIS website, as well as Google Earth.

(111 Corbett Business Building)

10-11 a.m.

11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m.

12:30 p.m.-1:15 p.m.

Tour of the Advanced Engineered Wood Composite Center

Olivia Sanchez, Research Engineer

(Advanced Engineered Wood Composites Center)

10-10:45 a.m.

1:30-2:15 p.m.

Wicked Cold Chemistry, Pop rockets and What’s For Breakfast?

Alice Bruce, Associate Professor of Chemistry

Will offer several different hands-on activities, exploring the temperature of liquid nitrogen, having fun with the explosive powers of carbon dioxide and finding iron in cereal.

(Aubert Hall lobby)

10-11 a.m.

A Great Mouse Detective Story: Gene Hunting with Mice

Ann Dorward, Ph.D. , UMaine Research Scientist

Students will see a short slide presentation of interesting mouse models. they will receive hand-puts to participate in the gene hunting process, isolate mouse DNA from test tubes and have a discussion about DNA mutation and therapy.

(215 Hitchner Hall)

10-11 a.m.

11;15 a.m.-12:15 p.m.

Using Chemistry to Make Ice Cream

Nancy Kravit, Adjunct Professor of Chemical Engineering

Ice cream was made long before refrigeration was invented by taking advantage of some simple principles of chemistry. Workshop will look at the science behind ice cream making, and will test those principles.

(222 Jenness Hall)

10-11 a.m.

11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

1:15-2:15 p.m.

Brain Science and Learning Math

Linda Rottman, Assistant Professor of Developmental Math

Findings from resent brain science research will be used to illustrate ways in which people can improve their learning of math.

(123 Barrows Hall)

12 noon-1 p.m.

1:15-2:15 p.m.

No…I Don’t Drive a Train!

Rosemary Smith, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering

This workshop will explain what engineers do, and why it is great to be one. It will include talk about engineering in general, the different types of engineering like bioengineering and electrical engineering, women engineers of the past and present, how math and science are used in engineering, and Prof. Smith’s experiences in engineering research and as a professor.

(Arthur St. John Hill Auditorium, Barrows Hall)

10-11 a.m.

11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m.

Fungi…Friends or Foes?

Andrea Ostrofsky and Seanna Annis, UMaine biology professors

Introduction to the fungi – how cool they are and how important they are in our lives. Lots of show and tell. Students will be able to grow their own fungus from blue cheese. Will also visit two research labs where fungi that cause wood decay and fungi that cause blueberry diseases are studied.

(203 Hitchner Hall)

10-11 a.m.

Sisters in Submarines!

Denise Nemeth-Greenleaf, Tori Smith, and Deborah Jennings, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard

Participants will have the opportunity to become familiar with work practices that occur at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, After hearing a brief description of the presenters’ work and backgrounds, each girl will have an opportunity to use a noise meter and learn how excessive noise can be damaging. They will see an experiment that explains how a submarine dives, and they will manipulate the hand of a dee-submergence suit (to see the dexterity of Navy SEALS under water).

(102 Jenness Hall)

10-10:45 a.m.

11-11:45 a.m.

Getting Caught in the ‘Net

Vinitha Nair and Kaley Noonan, Platform Shoes Forum, Zoey’s Room

Workshop will explore the potential dangers of online communication. The presenters will show participants how important it is t stay safe online, how to avoid cyber-bullying and how to protect oneself in and other public chat rooms.

(111 Corbett Business Building)

1:30-2:15 p.m.

Ladies in the Lab, Bugs in the System

Mary Bird, Instructor in Education

The history of science is rich with women who have contributed to our understanding of, and interaction with, the world. It was women who invented refrigerated food, developed the technique for classifying stars, discovered the significance of the x and y chromosomes. The workshop invites participants to explore some of the fundamental, but neglected contributions of women in science.

(216 Shibles Hall)

1:30-2:15 p.m.