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SMART Girls Workshops Set for April 5


Girls in grades seven and eight will have an opportunity to get hands-on exposure to a variety of technology-based career fields when Pennsylvania College of Technology offers the latest workshops for its SMART Girls (Science & Math Applications in Real-World Technologies) initiative on Saturday, April 5.

The initiative, now in its fourth year, addresses the gender gap in technology employment by exposing middle- and high-school students to career options in emerging technologies while strengthening their foundation in math and the sciences.

Girls will participate in three two-hour workshop sessions (from a total of 15 offered) during the daylong program, which begins at 8:30 a.m. and ends at 4:30 p.m.

The only cost is a $15 materials fee. Lunch and refreshments are provided (parents who attend may make optional reservations for lunch for $10). Registration forms, which must be signed by a teacher, are to be submitted by March 28.

Parents’ sessions include “Planning to Meet College Expenses,” with Philip D. Landers of the business administration and accounting faculty, who will explain tax code, financial aid and planning to meet college costs; and “$100+ for a Calculator Are You Crazy?” with Adelle M. Dotzell of the mathematics faculty, who will introduce parents to the calculator that is a must for most college students today.

To register for SMART Girls workshops, visit online.

The SMART Girls workshops, instructors and descriptions are as follows:

Computer Demolition Susan B. Deuel, manager II instructional computing Have you ever wondered what a computer looks like on the inside? What makes it tick? What do hard disks, memory, video and processors do? Learn how to be like Sherlock Holmes in the computer world and how to troubleshoot what goes wrong and how to fix it!

Graphics Explosion Robin D. Carey, web designer Learn the basics of image-editing software Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator for creating, editing and retouching images. These images can be used in all media, including print and Web. Get high-quality results by learning how graphics relate to communication, how image formats affect compression, and get tips for creating effective Web graphics with smaller file sizes.

Girl Power: Conquering Disability Barbara J. Natell, director of occupational therapy assisting “How would I put on makeup with only one hand? How could I make my lunch? What would it be like to dance in a wheelchair?” Students will explore and role-play a number of physical disabilities typically served by occupational therapy practitioners. They will learn adaptive techniques that can be taught to enable patients/clients to perform meaningful activities.

Use a Laptop to Cool a Building Philip H. Henning, faculty, electrical technology In this hands-on session, students will use laptop computers and a local area network to control heating and cooling equipment. They will also use a digital camera to make Web-based welcome screens for a building.

Seeing Green Kelly B. Butzler, faculty, chemistry Chemistry is the basis of all living things. This workshop is designed to teach students how to separate components of a mixture of plant pigments via chromatography. Paper chromatography will be employed, so that students can see the colored pigments that compose spinach. Students will also determine the color of light that each pigment in spinach absorbs. The analysis will be performed with a spectrophotometer, and the results will be graphed. Note: Participants should bring a scientific calculator if they have one.

The Power of Plastics Anne K. Soucy, faculty, plastics technology Plastics infiltrate all aspects of our lives. Plastic can be formed into any type of product from simple consumer items to complex medical devices. This workshop aims to teach students about the properties of polymer materials and how they relate to processing applications.

Virtual Model Building Dorothy J. Gerring, faculty, architectural technology Students will use architectural 3-D modeling programs to design a house, show materials accurately and furnish it. They’ll use virtual cameras to take snapshots and videos of their design so that it can be e-mailed to friends or printed out in color.

Time to Build the Networks of the 21st Century! Jeffrey B. Weaver, faculty, electronics Students will learn what makes computer networks, like the Internet, tick. They’ll see how internetworking equipment such as routers and switches send e-mail, music and instant messages from one place to another. They’ll connect the equipment to make a network using real network cables that have been built from scratch. They’ll program routers to make them control network operations.

Visualizing Mathematics Adelle M. Dotzel, faculty, mathematics A picture is worth a thousand words. In mathematics, a graph is a picture of an equation. In this workshop, each student will use a TI-86 graphing calculator to graph lines and curves and to discover interesting properties about their graphs.

FLASH Animation for the Internet Patricia M. Coulter, faculty, computer science In this class, students will see how computer animations are created. Students will take an image and make it grow, bounce and spin. When they are done, their animation can be posted to the Web for friends and family to see.

How Clean Is This Water? Debra A. Buckman, faculty, environmental technology Have you ever wondered how good the water quality is in your local stream? One way to tell is by turning over the rocks in the stream and determining who (or what) lives there. In this activity, students will take a mini-field trip to a local stream and do just that. Students should be prepared to get a little wet (and wild) as the group tries to determine just which insect is which, and who is that snail. Spare shoes are recommended.

Dental Hygiene: Straight From the Mouth Shawn A. Kiser, coordinator of dental hygiene This workshop is a hands-on introduction to a career in dental hygiene, showing how math and science link to this profession. Students will have the opportunity to perform a variety of exciting activities related to dental hygiene.

DNA Fingerprinting (Who Committed the Crime?) Cheryl C. Smith, faculty, biology This workshop utilizes the cutting-edge science of DNA Electrophoresis. Participants will learn about DNA, pipetting microtechniques, loading of gels, completion of a “run” and the interpretation of the results. Dyes will be used to represent DNA, a “crime” will be investigated, and the participants will determine the “guilty” suspect specimen as they complete the workshop.

Automobiles and Electricity John R. Cuprisin, faculty, automotive technology (Ford Asset) Participants will get experience using a simple digital volt-ohm meter to measure electricity, make a solder repair of a wire and build a power window and/or windshield wiper/washer system on a trainer board.

Cyber Challenge Denise S. Leete, faculty, computer science The Web is exciting. It is everywhere. It has exploded beyond everybody’s expectations. Students will learn how to craft a presence on the Web and be amazed at the ease of designing and creating Web pages with pizzazz.

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