Posts tagged ‘learning’

Winter Olympics

Australia’s Michelle Steele

I am very excited about for the Winter Olympics opening ceremony tonight! As you and your family begin watching your favorite Olympic sports ask probing questions about the athletes’ equipment, clothing, protective gear, etc. to see what your children say. It doesn’t matter which event you watch engineering is used throughout the entire Olympics to help an athlete go faster, straighter, fly higher, flip better and more! Engineering may be a career you have never talked about before in your household and the Olympics are a perfect opportunity to kick off National Engineering Week.

National Engineering Week is celebrated February 14th-20th!

Each day next week, I’ll post a new engineering activity you and your family can enjoy.


February 12, 2010 at 10:30 am Leave a comment

Be Curious!

Fun on FOX 7!

Click photo to watch FOX 7 segment!

Science is being curious about the world around us. Visit the Austin Children’s Museum this weekend for Science Sunday from 3pm-5pm (FREE after 4pm). In addition to the fabulous ACM exhibits, Girlstart will showcase a variety of hands-on, kid-friendly activities.

Want to know how to keep the water from draining out of the jar?

Mason Jar with lid
Index card (mine was laminated, but that is only so I can use it multiple times)
Screen insert (cut to fit under the LID)

* Practice over a sink before you brag about your new skill

1. Fill the jar to the top with water so that it’s almost overflowing.
2. Cover the jar with the index card, make sure the card covers the ENTIRE mouth of jar.
3. Place your hand on the card and turn the jar upside down.
4. Slowly remove your hand; the card AND water will stay in place.

Science Concepts
Basic explanations…
Air Pressure is a gas that not only pushes down, but also upwards and sideways. The card remains in place because the air pressure is pushing upward harder than the water AND gravity are pushing downward.
Surface Tension is the thin “membrane” stretched over the surface of a liquid. The behavior is a force called cohesion, which is the attraction of like molecules to each, that causes this effect. The surface tension “membrane” is always trying to contract, which explains why falling droplets of water are ball shaped.

Added Flare…
Once you feel comfortable with your new skill, try the trick while holding it over someone’s head. Most likely they will duck for cover because they don’t want water to spill on their head. They will be very surprised and impressed when nothing happens.

Good luck,


P.S. Continue to check back for more activity ideas!

January 20, 2010 at 11:30 pm Leave a comment

Featured article of the week: Gender socialization & Parenting

parentingI read this pretty interesting article this morning after it showed up on my Google Alerts. Lots of really amazing things for parents (and the rest of us) to think about!

What do you think? How significant is that first pink or blue jumpsuit or the type of mobile hung above your newborn’s crib when it comes to prepping your child for a STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) career?


July 28, 2009 at 5:25 pm Leave a comment

Missed Girlstart’s SXSWi panel? Catch up here.

Girlstart panel @ SXSWi 2009

Girlstart panel @ SXSWi 2009

Even though SXSWi reached a record number of attendees this year, many who have considered the conference to be the highlight of their professional year found themselves unable to attend the 2009 conference. Come to think of it, don’t all of us miss SXSWi in one way or another? I can think of atleast 25 panels off the top of my head that I wish I could have attended but the conference is so jam packed with goodies that you have to ultimately make difficult decisions and miss out on a few choice panels and core conversations. If you’re like me, you’re scouring the internet even weeks after SXSW Interactive trying to catch up with all the new things you learned and the stuff you missed. So, for those of you that missed the Girlstart panel or SXSWi alltogether, here are a few places you can go to catch up. 🙂 -Dee

Joystiq article

Kera Art & Seek blog

Austin Chic blog

April 1, 2009 at 10:52 pm 1 comment

SXSW Interactive-a peek inside

What a whirlwind! I can’t believe that SXSW Interactive is over! What a fantastic week it was.

Here’s a little sneak peek of my schedule during the week of SXSWi:

Friday March 13th

2:00 pm ·  Everything You Know About Web Design Is Wrong

3:30 pm ·  Oooh, That’s Clever! (Unnatural Experiments in Web Design)

5:00 pm ·  Plan B: Can an Ad Guy Bring Bike Sharing to America?

I spent the rest of the day at the Screen Burn Arcade and went to dinner with some fabulous folks from New York visiting SXSWi for the 1st time ever!

screenburnSaturday March 14th

10:30 am ·  Book Reading: Social Media Marketing with Alan Moore. No not this Alan Moore.

11:30 am ·  Core Conversation: Blog on Company Time and Get Promoted

2:00 pm ·  Opening Remarks: Tony Hsieh

3:30 pm ·  HOWTO: 149 Surprising Ways to Turbocharge Your Blog With Credibility!

3:30 pm ·  Core Conversation: Playing to Learn – Educating Kids Through Gaming

(yes I double booked myself on this one…saw half of both then caught up with each of the panelists after! Divinia Knowles from Mind Bites is super awesome. She’s doing some amazing things with Mind Bites and really has a great viewpoint on how games can be used to educate youth effectively and more successfully than traditional menthods. After talking with her I was inspired to build my very own Moshi Monster!) moshi

5:00 pm ·  Social Media Nonprofit ROI Poetry Slam

After that, I met up with the Fabulous Megan Gaiser from Her Interactive in New York-one of the panelists on our panel and we talked about girls, gaming, and the video game industry.

Then, I checked out the Lego corner which was jam packed with some amazing creations, including a tribute to the recent Austin Zombie road signs that have been popping up around Austin.


Sunday, March 15th

10:00 am ·  Screenburn: Playing On! Interface Lessons from Games

11:30 am ·  Making Whuffie: Raising Social Capital in Online Communities

3:30 pm ·  Core Conversation: Your Personal Blog is Dead

5:00 pm ·  Core Conversation: Twitter for Marketers: Is It Still Social Media?

This time, instead of continuing the learning process, I decided to go home and rest up for Girlstart’s panel and mentally prepare!


Monday, March 16th-Girlstart panel day!!

After our panel (more info in my next post), the panelists and I talked to a lot of our audience members-they were all so excited about our mission and wanted to know how they could help. It was great meeting folks in the Austin community who are passionate about contributing their time and talents to Girlstart-you are truly the folks that make all the difference! After meeting and chatting with these fab folks, I attended:

3:30 pm ·  No Web Professional Left Behind: Educating the Next Generation


5:00 pm ·  Screenburn: Girl Gaming Goes Mainstream: Cliches, Reality, and Community

Another fabulous, jam packed SXSW day!

Tuesday March 17th

Today was yet another great day at SXSWi-I met a lot of folks in the non-profit industry and we exchanged information to share resources. The Austin non-profit tech folks are wonderful about sharing what they know with each other-it’s such a caring community.

The highlight of my day was definitely getting an autographed copy of Chris Anderson’s book “The Long Tail”-thanks to my amazing and fabulous sister who managed to grab the last copy remaining-the display, and begging Chris Anderson to sign it for me. Yay!

I also attended:

2:00 pm ·  Tuesday Keynote: Chris Anderson / Guy Kawasaki Conversation

but spent most of the day checking out the Film festival portion of SXSWi…there was a documentary about the pets of Hurricane Katrina and the folks involved brought loads of dogs and set up an area outside the convention center promoting the documentary. Of course I had to spend a lot of time here.

cuteness overload

cuteness overload

The End

When the conference came to an end, I couldn’t beleive how quickly it had flown by. This is always the case with SXSW Interactive and while I felt sad (nerd alert!) I had so many new friends and so much new knowledge that I had to celebrate. I’ve got loads of scribbles I have yet to decipher and lots of things to look up on my To Learn list-I think by the time I get through that list, it’ll be time for SXSWi 2010.


March 30, 2009 at 4:37 pm

Help girls overcome stereotypes

I just read a great article in the Baltimore Sun written by Kate Shatzkin:,0,7918762.story

The article documents a phenomenon common in girls (and women) where we internalize poor performance or poor grades a negative reflection of ourselves and our abilities, all to often leading in the misconception at an early age that girls “aren’t good at math or science”.  The reverse is true of boys (and men I would argue), they externalize these challenges and are likely to attribute poor performance on a test not as a reflection of not being smart enough, but of not being ready for the test, or the teachers picking unfair questions, etc.  What I love about this article is that on top of giving parents tips it also emphasizes the core of all programs:  stress the utilitarian aspect of how math, science and technology careers. Girls want to know how these careers help people and make the world better, that’s what makes these opportunities exciting and meaningful to them!


October 14, 2008 at 6:03 pm Leave a comment

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