MAthMovesU Girl Scouts Explore Math, Science & More at Middlesex A high-energy group of nearly 300 Girl Scouts descended on MCC’s Bedford campus in November to explore math and science as part of MAthMovesU at Middlesex. __________________ I feel that every girl in our workshops now knows that computer programming does not have to be some geeky thing only boys like. Margie Bleichman Chairwoman, Computer Science Department The whole idea behind MAthMovesU was to help girls learn about the many careers open to women in the STEM fields, said Judith Hogan, MCC’s Dean of Business, Engineering & Technology. “We want girls and young women – who are really under-represented in career fields such as engineering and science – to become interested in STEM and realize they can have a fun, rewarding career in those areas,” said Hogan. “Plus, the earlier you get information about these career paths to young people, the sooner they realize the importance of math in school.” A partnership program between Middlesex, Raytheon and Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts, MAthMovesU was a handson opportunity to help fourth- through eighth-grade girls discover the joys of STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. The day-long event allowed the girls to get up close and personal with female engineers from Raytheon, as well as Middlesex STEM professors and students. A variety of fun, interactive workshops were set up to cover three tracks: engineering, environmental science and computer science, explained Margie Bleichman, Chairwoman of MCC’s Computer Science Department, and one of the event’s organizers. In the workshops, 15 to 20 girls explored such topics as wind power and solar cars, learned how bridges are built, and tried their hand at computer programming. __________________ Girl Scouts is dedicated to building the future generation of leaders in every field, said Ruth Bramson, CEO of Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts and a member of MCC’s Board of Trustees. The organization also believes in steering girls’ interest and imagination around STEM by nurturing this interest early, she stressed. “A partnership with the women of Raytheon was a perfect way to increase opportunities beyond the classroom that would expose the girls to female role models and give them a hands-on experience with mathematics,” said Bramson. “The team from Middlesex was an integral part of the success of this event,” she added. Judging from her computer science workshops, Bleichman believes MAthMovesU succeeded on every level. “We were all exhausted afterwards – but in a good way!,” she said, laughing. “I feel that every girl in our workshops now knows that computer programming does not have to be some geeky thing only boys like.” For more information about Raytheon’s MAthMovesU programs, visit: www.mathmovesu.com. For more information about Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts, visit: www.girlscoutseasternmass.org. For more information about STEM programs at Middlesex, visit: www.middlesex.mass.edu/stem. Kathy Register “In our computer science workshops, almost 300 girls had a chance to work with ‘Alice,’ a programming environment that teaches kids how to program in a fun way,” said Bleichman. Named after “Alice in Wonderland,” the teaching program enabled the girls to create short, animated movies of a bunny moving around a field, with flowers sprouting up and other graphic imagery. “The girls took to it right away – they were clearly having fun,” said Bleichman. Bob Bowles, Chairman of Engineering and Computer, Software & Networking Technologies at MCC, and Neil Sheer, Associate Dean of Technology Programs, also joined Raytheon engineers in leading a workshop devoted to designing and building a model bridge. |22| Profiles