2013 Bezos Scholar Eleanor Fadely and educator Pattie Sloan, challenged girls to rise to the STEM challenge by hosting the Math Inspiring New Dreams (MIND) Math Festival at Straub Middle School in Salem, OR.
With hands-on math and science activities, the duo worked to build students’ confidence in math and science, and highlight career pathways in STEM. Their goal was to show students, especially girls, that STEM is interesting, something they are good at, and something in which they can find future success.
Their festival, now three years strong, includes activities such as bridge construction, golden ration measurements, Brush Bot robotics, radioactive candy demonstrations, buoyancy and temperature experiments, oscillation labs, rocket launches, lasers, geometry of sound, pi challenges, car races, and math graffiti.
“I believe that the greatest strength of MIND is the ability for middle schoolers to experience math and science hands-on,” reflects Eleanor. “It’s one thing to hear someone talk about how math is beneficial, but it has a completely different to actually do the math experiments and see how they relates to real life.”