HEI’s Hannah Rollin and Sarah Walker
are continuing their mentorship through the uCodeGirl STEM
program that began in October and finishes in May.
The uCodeGirl program brings together female STEM professionals to help engage teen girls in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math and to set up a support system for future academic success. The specific goal of the program is to give girls a fun and inviting environment for them to explore these STEM fields.
To accomplish this goal, Hannah and Sarah came up with an eight-month-long project with their mentees to develop an indoor pot that would provide a tomato plant with optimal growing conditions and with as little human input as possible.
, Hannah and Sarah have educated the girls about soil permeability, infiltration, and soil textures which led to the experimentation and design phase of their optimized plant pot.
During February’s session, the mentors talked about plan sets and had the girls test out their drafting skills to begin the process of bringing their previous designs to a finished product. The group used graph paper, rulers, and compasses which allowed the girls to draft and design the different components of their flower pots including the shape of the pot itself, the water reservoir, an irrigation system, a cage, and a water pump.
The girls were then asked to think about and consider the materials, practicality, potential maintenance, durability, and even aesthetics of the pots. The girls had a great time putting together mini plan sets for their pots as they all came up with different twists and ideas to add to their designs.
In this session, the group hopped on the computers and used a free computer program called TinkerCAD
, which is available online and allowed the girls to use computer-aided design to create 3D pots.
Each girl designed a component of the pot and then the group combined their designs into a collaborative final product. The girls used their teamwork skills in order to make all the components fit together. They worked great as a team!
April is the final session before graduation and the end of the program in May. The mentors invested in simple sensors that would allow the team to test the moisture content of the soil. The girls used breadboards, wires, sensors, resistors, and LED lights to create the sensor which would control when water is given to the tomato plant, fulfilling the goal of using as little human input as possible.
The sensor was then placed in a real potted plant and connected to the computer so that they could become familiar with what they were measuring. The LED light would turn on when the soil was dry and off when it was wet.
Presentation preparation and graduation is soon approaching in May. The girls will get to practice their speaking skills and present their final projects to the rest of the group in addition to their parents and friends. Stay tuned for the final update!
2019 Crack the Code: Summer Tech Camp
Know a young girl who would love to learn about coding? uCodeGirl presents the 2019 Crack the Code: Tech Camp for Girls for the young women in your life. View their website
for further details and follow their event on Facebook