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Middle-School Students Are “Mad About Science” at University of Hartford Summer Program

Posted 07/26/2012
Posted by Meagan Fazio

Sixteen middle-school age girls will build cars out of mousetraps, design glow-in-the dark shirts and conduct other hands-on experiments during the “Mad About Science” summer program, being held until Friday, Aug. 3 at the University of Hartford. “Mad About Science” is designed to inspire girls to pursue their love of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and to encourage them to prepare for careers in the STEM fields.

The two-week program runs daily from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. in Dana Hall, Room 329, on the University of Hartford campus, 200 Bloomfield Ave., West Hartford. A campus map is available at Dana Hall is building #4 on the map. Please note: there is a break daily from 2:20-2:40 p.m.

The following sessions will provide particularly visual opportunities for the media:

• Mousetrap cars, Thursday, July 26: The girls are building cars powered by mousetraps and will race the cars to see which will travel the farthest.
• Glow-in-the-dark shirts, Monday, July 30 - Friday, Aug. 3: Students will program Arduino LilyPads to create shirts that glow in the dark. The LilyPads are small computer chips that allow lights, sounds and sensors to be sewn into clothes.
• Biomaterials, Tuesday, July 31: Students will dissect chicken legs to learn about the tissues that make up the human body.
• Balloon Slingshot, Thursday, Aug. 2 – Friday, Aug. 3: The girls will complete calculations in order to accurately hit a target with water balloons.

The students, who are entering grades 6-9 this fall, were chosen through an application process in which they answered several questions about their interest in STEM and provided a recommendation from a teacher or a guidance counselor. About 100 girls applied for the 16 spots.

The program is free of charge. This opportunity was made possible through the generous support of the Connecticut Space Grant Consortium and the University of Hartford’s Women’s Education and Leadership Fund, Summer Place (youth camp) and Office of Community Relations. For more information, visit