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Girls, Engineering, Mathematics, and Science

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This one-day workshop provides an opportunity for eighth-grade girls to explore interests in engineering, science, and technology. Scheduled every spring, the workshop lets students interact with professional women from industry, as well as with professors and students from SDSU. The goals of this workshop include introducing eighth-grade girls to engineering, math, and science; increasing student and parent knowledge in these areas; providing an environment that facilitates learning and excitement; and inspiring eighth-grade girls to continue to pursue the courses of study introduced during the workshop.

Event Details

Date and Time: March 23, 2019 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Location: SDSU Crothers Engineering Hall, Brookings, SD

Student Agenda for the day:

9:00-9:30      Registration and Refreshments, Crothers Hall 204

9:30-10:00    Welcome & opening ceremony

10:00-11:55   Session One

11:55- 12:55  Lunch

12:55-2:35     Session Two

2:35-3:05       Ice Cream Break

3:05-4:45       Session Three

4:45-5:00       Closing Ceremony


The online application form is available here. Camp fee is $25 per student if registered by Friday, March 15. Late camp fee is $35. 

Teachers and guardians are free; please list ALL parents/guardians/teachers attending the workshop on the application form.

Planned Session Activities

Forensics-Who Dunnit?

Solve a crime using forensic science!

In this hands-on project, GEMS participants will use science and reasoning to learn how to collect and classify fingerprints, how to analyze mystery powders, how to use biological markers like foot length to estimate height, and how hair samples are analyzed. With help from South Dakota Forensic Lab, participants will see the science and the tools that are used in practice. Finally, the participants will be able to put their new found skills to the test and solve a crime by using deductive reasoning. A great interactive project with a large dose of science, math, analysis, and fun!


Moving from a science fiction novel to our workplace, robots are making a mark in history. They help humans with repetitive, dangerous, or delicate work. Who will design and program the robots of the future, and what will they do for us? In this hands-on project, participants will build a LEGO-Mindstorm robot car from Lego parts, program the car to navigate a "treacherous" maze. This interactive project provides the great lesson of "if at first you don't succeed, try, try, again."

Bridge Builder

Girls will practice and build their math and science skills in the "Bridge Builder" session. Participants will gain knowledge of bridge components, types, construction, engineering, and testing methods. Girls will practice engineering skills by designing, constructing, and testing model bridges.

Teacher/Guardian Sessions

Preparing Your Student for College and STEM Career Opportunities

Dr. Rich Reid, Associate Dean of Engineering, will present information to the parents and teachers on how students entering high school can better prepare themselves to compete for scholarships and demanding academic majors.  Followed by Leah Brink, Human Resources Director at Daktronics, Inc., who will discuss STEM career opportunities.

STEM Student and Professional Panel

This panel, comprised of SDSU students and industry professionals, will explore opportunities, expectations, rewards, and skills associated with a STEMs education and career. Panel members will discuss their academic and professional experiences in pursuing and managing a STEMs career as well as how to make the most of the college experience. A large part of the panel will be dedicated to interactive discussion with the audience to explore some of the common questions that students ask:  topics such as choosing the best school, making the transition to college and a career.

Engineering Activity & Student Session Tour

Test your engineering skills and creativity in designing and building the Rube Goldberg Light Activation Machine. Then take a walking tour to the student sessions.


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