Tech Trek is a camp designed to inspire rising eighth grade girls in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math. Here is a Tech Trek video, explaining some of the activities.

Below are explanations of some of the workshops developed for Tech Trek.

**2016 Tech Trek Class:**

Cyber Security: Campers will be immersed in games, activities and scenarios as they take on the role of cyber security professional consultants. After exploring how computers talk to each other and how the internet works, their role play assignment will be to diagnose a website and computer cyber issues. Campers will work in teams of two or three while participating in activities.

**2015 Tech Trek Classes and Workshops :**

App Inventor Core Class: Verizon partnered with MIT to create an app invention program. Campers will create apps, following instructions and then create their own app. Verizon supplies tablets. Each camper need a gmail account.

Career and STEM Connections: Everyone who has a smart phone uses apps. Coding or apps are used in every career where a computer is used.

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Barbie Bungee Jumping Workshop:

In this activity, students will simulate a bungee jump using a Barbie doll and rubber bands. This activity will use knowledge and skill of linear equations as they are applied to a scenario.* *

- Students will attach rubber bands to Barbie’s feet and take three measurements each of jump distance of 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12 rubber bands.
- They will graph their data, draw a best fit line, identify slope, y-intercept, and generate an equation using their own data for Barbie to jump safely from a higher distance.

Career and STEM Connections: Understanding how to find the equation of a line can help to identify trends in data, chart growth of sales, and project future data. The people who do this type of work are called financial analysts and they work for many companies, including healthcare, sports, shipping companies, and in politics. Bungee jumping, as a sport, incorporates tested materials for safety, including the careful work done by analysts.

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Coding Workshop: Girls will be introduced to many different levels of coding and will work at their own pace to create an image or product.

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**2014 Tech Trek Classes and Workshops:**

Roller Coasters

Students will investigate many aspects of a workable roller coaster using a model which they will build. Activities are designed to investigate velocity, angles and distance. As time allows, students will create diagrams of top and side view and create a roller coaster out of cardstock. They will then roll marbles and other round objects down a ramp, with gradually increasing steepness, and time how fast the balls roll. They will graph the averages of this data.

Career and STEM Connections: Mechanical engineers use computer programs and math to design and test roller coasters. Material to construct roller coasters vary as technology advances.

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Bridge Building

Students will be shown and given information on various bridges. As time allows, they will choose a specific bridge or type of bridge, research it and draw a design to scale. They will create a logo for their company and create their model bridge using only wood and glue. They will also keep track of the “cost” of their bridge, the weight of their structure, the load it will hold and its efficiency: (load x 4.5)/weight of structure. They will understand and use the following terms: tension, compression and load. As a final activity, if time allows, we will destroy bridges in the process of testing how much weight they can bear at one time.

Career and STEM Connections: Civil engineers design and test bridges, using models, computer programs, geometry, scientific data (such as impact on environment, flood plains, wind patterns and soil) and a detailed process.

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Barbie Bungee Jumping

In this activity, students will simulate a bungee jump using a Barbie doll and rubber bands. This activity will use knowledge and skill of linear equations as they are applied to a scenario.* *

- Students will attach rubber bands to Barbie’s feet and take three measurements each of jump distance of 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12 rubber bands.
- They will graph their data, draw a best fit line, identify slope, y-intercept, and generate an equation using their own data for Barbie to jump safely from a higher distance.

Career and STEM Connections: Understanding how to find the equation of a line can help to identify trends in data, chart growth of sales, and project future data. The people who do this type of work are called financial analysts and they work for many companies, including healthcare, sports, shipping companies, and in politics. Bungee jumping, as a sport, incorporates tested materials for safety, including the careful work done by analysts.

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2014 Lesson Overview with Learning Standards

Barbie Bungee Jumping, Bridge Building, Roller Coasters,

Online Tech Tools, Science Olympiad

Part 1: Learning Standards Addressed in all Workshops and Labs

A. Mathematical Practices included in All

#1 Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them. Students need to understand problems, find a way to attack them and work until it is done. They need to apply what they know and to monitor themselves when problem-solving.

#2 Reason abstractly and quantitatively. If students have a problem, they should be able to break it apart and show it symbolically, with pictures, or in any way other than an algorithm. On the other hand, they should be able to apply the algorithm, or “math work” to a situation

#3. Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others. Students should be able to talk about math and support or oppose the work of others.

#4 Model with mathematics. Students should use math to solve real world problems, organize data, and understand the world around them.

#5. Use appropriate tools strategically. Students should be able to select appropriate math tools to solve problems correctly.

#6 Attend to precision. Students speak and solve mathematics with exactness and meticulousness.

#7. Look for and make use of structure. Students should find patterns and repeated reasoning that can help solve more complex problems. They can break apart problems and numbers into familiar relationships.

#8. Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning. Students should keep an eye on the big picture while working out the details of the problem.

B. Technology learning standards included in All:

ISTE NETS (International Society for Technology in Education: National Educational Technology Standards)

1. Creativity and Innovation ~Use models and simulations to explore complex systems and situations ~Apply existing knowledge to generate new ideas, products or processes

2. Communication and Collaboration ~Contribute to project teams to produce original works or solve problems

3. Research and Information Fluency ~Plan strategies to guide inquiry ~Process data and report results

4. Critical Thinking, Problem Solving and Decision Making ~Plan and manage activities to develop a solution or complete a project.

C. Science and Engineering Practices used in All

Asking Questions and Defining Problems Asking questions and defining problems in grades 6–8 progresses to specifying relationships between variables, and clarifying arguments and models.

Ask questions that can be investigated within the scope of the classroom, outdoor environment, and museums and other public facilities with available resources and, when appropriate, frame a hypothesis based on observations and scientific principles. (MS-PS2-3)

Planning and Carrying Out Investigations. Planning and carrying out investigations to answer questions or test solutions to problems in 6–8 progresses to include investigations that use multiple variables and provide evidence to support explanations or design solutions.

Plan an investigation individually and collaboratively, and in the design: identify independent and dependent variables and controls, what tools are needed to do the gathering, how measurements will be recorded, and how many data are needed to support a claim. (MS-PS2-2)

Conduct an investigation and evaluate the experimental design to produce data to serve as the basis for evidence that can meet the goals of the investigation. (MS-PS2-5) Developing and Using Models Modeling in 6–8 progresses to developing, using, and revising models to describe, test, and predict more abstract phenomena and design systems.

Develop and use a model to describe phenomena. (MS-LS1-2) Develop a model to describe unobservable mechanisms. (MS-LS1-7) Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions. Constructing explanations and designing solutions in 6–8 progresses to include constructing explanations and designing solutions supported by multiple sources of evidence consistent with scientific ideas, principles, and theories.

Apply scientific ideas or principles to design an object, tool, process or system. (MS-PS2-1) Analyzing and Interpreting Data Analyzing data in 6–8 progresses to extending quantitative analysis to investigations, distinguishing between correlation and causation, and basic statistical techniques of data and error analysis.

Analyze and interpret data to determine similarities and differences in findings. (MS-ESS3-2) Engaging in Argument from Evidence. Construct and present oral and written arguments supported by empirical evidence and scientific reasoning to support or refute an explanation or a model for a phenomenon or a solution to a problem. (MS-PS2-4)

Part 2: Summary of Labs and Workshops with Specific Learning Standards

A. Barbie Bungee Jumping.

Learning Standards Addressed:

Math Common Core State Standards: 8.EE.C (Equations and Expressions) Formulating and reasoning about expressions and equations, including modeling an association in bivariate data with a linear equation, and solving linear equations and systems of linear equations. Students use linear equations and systems of linear equations to represent, analyze, and solve a variety of problems. Students recognize equations for proportions (y/x = m or y = mx) as special linear equations (y = mx + b), understanding that the constant of proportionality (m) is the slope, and the graphs are lines through the origin. They understand that the slope (m) of a line is a constant rate of change, so that if the input or x-coordinate changes by an amount A, the output or y-coordinate changes by the amount m·A. Students also use a linear equation to describe the association between two quantities in bivariate data (such as arm span vs. height for students in a classroom). At this grade, fitting the model, and assessing its fit to the data are done informally. Interpreting the model in the context of the data requires students to express a relationship between the two quantities in question and to interpret components of the relationship (such as slope and y-intercept) in terms of the situation. Students strategically choose and efficiently implement procedures to solve linear equations in one variable, understanding that when they use the properties of equality and the concept of logical equivalence, they maintain the solutions of the original equation. Students solve systems of two linear equations in two variables and relate the systems to pairs of lines in the plane; these intersect, are parallel, or are the same line. Students use linear equations, systems of linear equations, linear functions, and their understanding of slope of a line to analyze situations and solve problems.

8.SP. (Statistics and Probabilities)

8.SP.2 Know that straight lines are widely used to model relationships between two quantitative variables. For scatter plots that suggest a linear association, informally fit a straight line, and informally assess the model fit by judging the closeness of the data points to the line

8.SP.3 Use the equation of a linear model to solve problems in the context of bivariate measurement data, interpreting the slope and intercept

B. Bridge Building

Summary of workshop: Students will be shown and given information on various bridges. As time allows, they will choose a specific bridge or type of bridge, draw a design to scale and create a model of the bridge, using balsa wood and glue. If time allows, they will create a logo for their company. They will also keep track of the “cost” of their bridge, the weight of their structure, the load it will hold and its efficiency: (load x 4.5)/weight of structure. They will research the following terms: tension, torsion, compression, bending, shearing, load. As a final activity, we will destroy bridges in the process of testing how much weight they can bear at one time.

Learning Standards Addressed:

Next Generation Science Standards: Engineering Design:

MS-ETS1-1. Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution, taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural environment that may limit possible solutions.

MS-ETS1-2. Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.

MS-ETS1-3. Analyze data from tests to determine similarities and differences among several design solutions to identify the best characteristics of each that can be combined into a new solution to better meet the criteria for success.

MS-ETS1-4. Develop a model to generate data for iterative testing and modification of a proposed object, tool, or process such that an optimal design can be achieved. High School Standards incorporated:

ETS1.A: Defining and Delimiting Engineering Problems

Criteria and constraints also include satisfying any requirements set by society, such as taking issues of risk mitigation into account, and they should be quantified to the extent possible and stated in such a way that one can tell if a given design meets them. (secondary to HS-PS2-3)

ETS1.C: Optimizing the Design Solution

Criteria may need to be broken down into simpler ones that can be approached systematically, and decisions about the priority of certain criteria over others (trade-offs) may be needed.

ET S1.B: Developing Possible Solutions

When evaluating solutions, it is important to take into account a range of constraints, including cost, safety, reliability, and aesthetics, and to consider social, cultural, and environmental impacts. (HS-ETS1-3)

Both physical models and computers can be used in various ways to aid in the engineering design process. Computers are useful for a variety of purposes, such as running simulations to test different ways of solving a problem or to see which one is most efficient or economical; and in making a persuasive presentation to a client about how a given design will meet his or her needs. (HS-ETS1-4)

C. Roller Coasters

Summary of workshop: Students will design and build cardstock roller coasters. They will test and restructure, as needed. They will calculate average speed on their roller coasters, using marbles.

Learning Standards Addressed:

Next Generation Science Standards: Engineering Design: MS-ETS1-1. Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution, taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural environment that may limit possible solutions.

MS-ETS1-2. Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.

MS-ETS1-3. Analyze data from tests to determine similarities and differences among several design solutions to identify the best characteristics of each that can be combined into a new solution to better meet the criteria for success.

MS-ETS1-4. Develop a model to generate data for iterative testing and modification of a proposed object, tool, or process such that an optimal design can be achieved. High School Standards incorporated:

ET S1.B: Developing Possible Solutions

When evaluating solutions, it is important to take into account a range of constraints, including cost, safety, reliability, and aesthetics, and to consider social, cultural, and environmental impacts.

(HS-ETS1-3) Both physical models and computers can be used in various ways to aid in the engineering design process. Computers are useful for a variety of purposes, such as running simulations to test different ways of solving a problem or to see which one is most efficient or economical; and in making a persuasive presentation to a client about how a given design will meet his or her needs. (HS-ETS1-4)

D. Online Tech Tools.

Summary of Lab: Students will create a wordpress blog/website and use this blog to write about their learning experiences at Tech Trek.

Learning Standards Addressed:

The ISTE NETS addressed were listed above.

E. Science Olympiad Events/Problem Solving. See also:

Summary of Lab: Students will create a free standing tower as tall as possible, using only specific supplies in a specific amount of time. They will discuss what made each tower successful and try again. They will also create a balloon powered car, using specific supplies, and redesign to make it travel at least one meter. They will investigate concepts of motion, force and energy while observing Newton’s laws of motion in action.

Learning Standards Addressed:

Next Generation Science Standards:

MS-PS2-2. Plan an investigation to provide evidence that the change in an object’s motion depends on the sum of the forces on the object and the mass of the object. [Emphasis is on balanced (Newton’s First Law) and unbalanced forces in a system, qualitative comparisons of forces, mass and changes in motion (Newton’s Second Law), frame of reference, and specification of units.]

Engineering Design: MS-ETS1-1. Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution, taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural environment that may limit possible solutions.

MS-ETS1-2. Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.

MS-ETS1-3. Analyze data from tests to determine similarities and differences among several design solutions to identify the best characteristics of each that can be combined into a new solution to better meet the criteria for success.

MS-ETS1-4. Develop a model to generate data for iterative testing and modification of a proposed object, tool, or process such that an optimal design can be achieved.