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Program to show science and engineering is for girls, too

The Wizards of Goddard Hall, a program produced by the Engineering New Mexico Resource Network at the New Mexico State University College of Engineering, is putting the glitz and glam into science, technology, engineering and math. This spring, girls will have the opportunity to experience the more feminine side of science and engineering through half-day workshops.

The Wizards of Goddard Hall is for girls with disabilities, age 11-18, in southern New Mexico. The workshops will be held April 14, 21, 28 and May 19 on the NMSU campus.

"The program aims to provide girls with role models who actively engage them in exploring how science is fun and relevant to their lives," said Elissa Poel, associate professor of special education and communicative disorders and director of the Wizards of Goddard Hall. "By placing girls in hands-on situations of creative uses of science and engineering, the program will build their confidence in their ability to succeed in STEM study."

Following are the workshop topics:
Cosmetic Engineering. Students will explore the chemistry of making make-up and will work with NMSU chemists to manufacture lipstick and lip balm.

Soap, Bubbles and Fragrances. Students will use chemistry and engineering to experiment with natural ingredients to create prototype soap.

Fast-Food Chemistry. Using the chemistry of cooking and nutrition basics, students will engineer the best-tasting and best-for-you French fry.

Rocket Science for Wizards. Students will learn fundamentals of aerospace design and make a designer flying machine. They will test their creations to see whose machine will fly the furthest and farthest.

Docu-Drama or Basics of Film Magic. From developing a picture to making a digital documentary, the students will learn the technical aspects of making a digital production. They will develop a storyboard, script, and create an infomercial documenting their experience and advertising their products.

With support from the NMSU Foundation office, the Wizards of Goddard Hall is funded by the Engineering Information Foundation under the College of Engineering Reaching the Pinnacle program, which promotes STEM education for persons with disabilities. Wizards of Goddard Hall relates to the "Wizards of Waverly Place," a popular kids television program featured on the Disney Channel. Building off the plot of the Disney program, the workshops will show students through hands-on experience how elements of the world that appeal to them - fashion, music, makeup and film - all depend upon the wizardry of science and engineering.

Participants in the Wizards of Goddard Hall must be female, enrolled in a New Mexico middle or high school, submit a letter of interest and proof of a documented disability. To register or for more information contact Randy Larry, program manager, at 575-646-6051 or rtp@nmsu.edu.