Fully charged: Girls and boys learn to build phone chargers at Sierra Montessori Academy | TheUnion.com
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Fully charged: Girls and boys learn to build phone chargers at Sierra Montessori Academy

Sam Corey
Staff Writer

Women are underrepresented in science and technology industries, according to U.S. News.

The American Association of University Women-Auburn is working to change that.

Last week, six of the organization’s members volunteered at the Sierra Montessori Academy to teach seventh and eighth graders to make cell phone chargers.

Both boys and girls of one Grass Valley classroom got the opportunity to learn about currents, amps, electrons, resisters and more, eventually implementing these lessons to create phone chargers from circuit boards.

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“This is a kind of experience they don’t have every day at school or every year at school.”— Sandra ScottPresident-elect of the University Women group

“This is a kind of experience they don’t have every day at school or every year at school,” said Sandra Scott, president-elect of the University Women group. “Most people don’t make anything anymore.”

The week-long workshop, called Charged Up, was meant to stimulate students’ — particularly girls’ — interest in science and technology, and allowing them the opportunity to tangibly construct something typically understood only from theoretical lessons.

Teacher of the Sierra Montessori classroom, Adriane Taylor, was pleased with the project.

“They loved the hands-on (experience),” she said, adding her students got the opportunity to independently problem solve. “The whole piece of it was good.”

Taylor thought it was nice to see female volunteers, having personally had careers in science and math, teach her students science and technology lessons.

“I think it was good for them to see women who went into careers in science,” she said.

NEXT GENERATION SCIENTISTS

The Auburn chapter of the American Association of University Women has been trying different things to expose girls to science and technology, said Scott.

In 2017, she said the group began doing projects to teach girl scouts in Nevada County science and technology.

Today they are raising money to send seven girls on a week-long technology learning trip at the University of California-Davis in July.

“We empower girls and women to be leaders through education, through experiences,” she said.

The group tries to strategically target girls to prevent them from losing interest in, or being dissuaded from, a career in science, math or technology fields. Scott said the group often has to swim upstream, fighting a culture frequently pushing women away from such industries.

“Girls at this age — seventh, eighth and ninth grade — start dropping away from science, technology, engineering and math,” she said.

Taylor enjoyed having the organization in her classroom, and hopes to do something similar in the future.

“It’s something we would definitely bring back to the school,” she said.

Contact Sam Corey at 530-477-4219 or at scorey@theunion.com.


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