Seventh-grade girls discover math, science at Brandywine campus

June 06, 2008

Penn State Brandywine welcomed 97 seventh-grade girls interested in pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering or mathematics at the campus' annual Math Options Career Day on May 23. The event provided the students with an opportunity to meet and network with professionals from varied fields, including women from Lockheed Martin, Stratus, and URS-Diamond/DuPont Chambers Works. A total of 21 teachers and 20 guest presenters visited the campus to help with the program, with Brandywine students serving as group leaders and student assistants.

West Chester resident Susan Glessner-Stickley, president of Stratus, who attended Penn State Brandywine and completed a bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering at University Park in 1985, was co-presenter of a session called "Let's Make Silly Putty." During the session, the girls made silly putty of various formulations to study the effect of varying cross-linking levels on the polymer properties.

During a session called "Straw Wars," student teams designed and built straw masterpieces that were evaluated by the presenters on product design and how well the structure met the requirements. Other students put their math skills to work in a session called "Drug Absorption," calculating and comparing drugs to find out which is best absorbed using the principle of geometry. Yet another group learned how to incorporate a photograph of themselves into a personal homepage using Hyper-Text Mark-Up Language (HTML) tags in the session "Creating Homepages Using HTML Code." There were nine sessions in all.

Chester resident and teacher at Village Charter School, Curtis Fisher, a Brandywine alumnus who received an Outstanding Alumni Award in education at the campus' 40th Anniversary Gala on May 10, accompanied 10 students and two other teachers from the school to participate in the program.

Other participating schools included Assumption B.V.M School, West Grove; Avon Grove Charter School, West Grove; Chichester Middle School, Boothwyn; Darby Township School, Glenolden; Delaware County Christian School, Newtown Square; E.T. Richardson Middle School, Springfield; Fred S. Engle Middle School, West Grove; Garnet Valley Middle School, Glen Mills; Northley Middle School, Aston; Our Lady of Charity School, Brookhaven; Penn's Grove School, Oxford; Phoenixville Area Middle School, Phoenixville; St. Joseph School, Aston; St. Joseph School, Downingtown and Upper Merion Middle School, King of Prussia.


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Last Updated March 19, 2009