The mission of Seattle Girls’ School addresses the national and local trend towards women being underrepresented in the fields of math and science. Girls from single gender schools choose careers in math, science, and technology four times more often than their peers at dual gender institutions. Additionally, they score 30% higher on SAT exams than the national average for girls. Current research suggests that young women need relevance and confidence as they explore studies and careers in STEM (Science, Mathematics, Engineering, and Technology).
Each February, 8th grade students at Seattle Girls’ School go on a mission: to the moon, Mars, the International Space Station or wherever the students – as co-creators of curriculum with their teachers – decide they need to venture to further their studies. The shuttle simulator, built from pool tarp and other assorted items, is certainly impressive, but more so are the weeks of training with a math and science focus that include topics in robotics, projectile motion, and forensics. Studying blood splatters and dissecting a fetal pig help the students prepare for an unexpected event on their mission – a crime! You see, in addition to working as a team to take off, maneuver, complete experiments and then land safely, the astronauts must also solve a crime that occurs while they are on their mission.
Here is a link to press coverage for the 2007 Mission to Mars.
Here is a link to a student-produced video on the 2009 Mission to The International Space Station.
This year’s destination? TOP SECRET!