On a recent Saturday, 15 girls from Tubman studied flowers frozen in liquid nitrogen and marshmallow catapults as a part of the Girls in STEM program at Tulane University. For the last four years, Tubman has participated in the GiST Program.
The workshop format provides girls in fifth-seventh grades from across New Orleans the opportunity to meet and work with women role models in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. For the first time this year, Tubman was invited to bring eighth-grade alumni of the program to serve as GiST Orientation Leaders! Orientation Leaders had a behind-the-scenes look at how to program events, work with college students and professors, and help students discover the wonders of Science.
Janae, a Tubman seventh grader expressed, “Working with dry ice and liquid nitrogen and seeing how they changed the density of a flower when we exposed it was my favorite experiment.” Demi was most excited about designing marshmallow catapults, “It was fun and made sense…I want to do more experiments like that.”
The goal of GiST is to encourage creative thinking, promote self-esteem, and to increase awareness about careers in STEM. The Tulane faculty and Tulane student teams encourage and empower girls to inquire, investigate, and discover in a positive environment.
“When we look at the field of individuals working in science, there are five men for every one woman,” shared Moneisha Cunningham, Tubman Science teacher and strong advocate of the GiST program. “This program brings girls together from all over the city and shows them anybody can do these things. They become aware of opportunities and discover that the possibilities of what they can do are limitless.”