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Local Girl Scouts to Build Mini Roller Coasters During Contest at Johns Hopkins

Engineering Faculty and Students Will Serve as Coaches and Role Models
Weekend Media Advisory for SATURDAY, March 24, 2018
March 24, 2018
CONTACT: Phil Sneiderman
Office: 443-997-9907/Cell: 410-299-7462
prs@jhu.edu On Twitter: @JHUmediareps

WHEN: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 24, 2018. NOTE: Best times to view the girls building the roller coasters and for the roller coaster competition are between 1 and 4 p.m.  Awards will be handed out between 3:30 and 4 p.m.

WHERE: In the Glass Pavilion, located in Levering Hall on Johns Hopkins University’s Homewood campus, 3400 N. Charles St., Baltimore, Md. (See campus map at https://bit.ly/2DQgYsp.)

WHO: Girl Scouts from Baltimore and three nearby communities will participate in a roller coaster building competition supported by a Changing the Face of STEM Mentoring Grant from L’Oréal USA. The grant was awarded to Sridevi Sarma, an associate professor of biomedical engineering at Johns Hopkins. Through the program, Girl Scouts will learn about the physics involved in how roller coasters work and what it takes to be an engineer. Then, the scout troops will design and build their own roller coasters. The grant enables female Johns Hopkins engineering graduates to encourage younger girls to consider education programs and careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), often for the first time.

WHAT: More than 30 elementary and middle school students from the Girl Scouts of Central Maryland will compete in the first Hopkins Roller Coaster Contest. The troop teams, each consisting of five to 10 girls, will be given everyday materials, such as cardboard, rope, paper and tape, to construct a roller coaster that is able to transport a marble. The girls will attempt to include as many “thrill” elements as possible. Besides building a roller coaster, the girls will be able to participate in brain games and/or a panel discussion with Hopkins female engineering students, during which they can ask questions about engineering education and opportunities in STEM fields. Johns Hopkins faculty, female engineering graduate students, along with other volunteers will serve as mentors and judges.

WHY: The university’s Institute for Computational Medicine, its Department of Biomedical Engineering and its Whiting School of Engineering, in partnership with Girl Scouts of Central Maryland and L’Oréal USA will host the event. The mission is to increase the number of young people who pursue science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education and careers, particularly among women and underrepresented minorities.

SUPERVISORS FOR THE EVENT: The faculty advisor is Sridevi Sarma, sridevi.sarma@gmail.com. The project manager is biomedical engineering doctoral candidate Macauley Breault; 908-963-2301, mbreal1@jhu.edu. The project coordinator is biomedical engineering doctoral candidate Kristin Gunnarsdottir, kgunnar1@jhu.edu.

Participating Girl Scout Troops:

Girl Scout Troop # 2478 from Annapolis

Girl Scout Troop # 736 from Catonsville

Girl Scout Troop # 5394 from Baltimore City

Girl Scout Troop # 1928 from Clarksville


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