On June 30th, we showcased our app at the STEAM Demo Day for Girls, held at Second Flight Books in West Lafayette, Indiana. A BIG thank you to Second Flight Books and the Purdue Foundry for the invite – what a fantastic day for girls interested in STEAM!
The STEM/STEAM Event
At the event, we were in good company. Scribfolio, Brave New Girls, Codelicious, and Purdue Chemical Engineering Graduate Student Organization all had a part in this awesome day and are passionate about girls’ STEM education. The girls (and boys) went station-to-station participating in hands-on activities like t-shirt decorating, chemistry experiments, and of course, testing out our app! When they had gone to all the stations, they were entered into a drawing for some cool prizes
Although still in beta, the kids loved our mobile educational game! Their faces lit up when they saw the augmented reality objects appearing above the cards like magic! It took some coaching to get kids younger than the 3rd-6th grade to complete the challenges, but with a little guidance, they were able to do it. The youngest girl that played our game was 2 years old! All of their experiences reconfirmed the things that we are working on fixing (smaller card sizes for little hands and screens, for example).
The parents and teachers at the event were especially interested in our augmented reality games because of its portability, quick setup and no clean-up. It’s like having a science lab that can fit into your pocket! One parent, we spoke with, a dad of a homeschooled family, loved the idea that they would be able to incorporate state-standard curriculum in a new and exciting way (without breaking the bank).
The Girls’ Takeaway
Not only did the girls get to see what STEAM can accomplish (augmented reality apps, chemistry reactions, exciting books, coding, beautiful pictures), but they also saw women who are involved in these STEAM fields who were running the tables. They got to talk to the women in STEM ask questions and be encouraged that there is a place for them in the STEM community. For them, to see the community invested in their future in STEM and the community of women that they can be apart of was very encouraging.
The thing that struck me about the event and the girls in attendance was their desire to learn and explore. I don’t know about you, but when I was that age, I’m not sure I would’ve wanted to spend my Saturday doing educational things. Every girl that I talked to was genuinely interested in what they could get out of our mobile educational game and were really engaged in the other stations. They didn’t just show up, and try to get through all the demonstrations as fast as possible to be entered in the raffle, (which is what I probably would’ve done at that age.) Instead, they were engaged in the content at each station eager to learn, make, and do.
Whatever path these girls take, I think we can be sure that they are on their way to change the world.