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Girl Power: Tweens win engineering design contest at Germanna

A group of middle school-aged Central Virginia Boys & Girls Club members recently learned a little bit about engineering and a lot about the importance of teamwork at Germanna Community College’s Daniel Technology Center in Culpeper County.

Funded by Germanna’s Educational Foundation allowed 20 Boys & Girls Club members from Orange and Madison counties to spend their spring break  designing, building and racing electric toy cars using parts created on the spot with a 3D printer.

Germanna Community College Educational Foundation's 3D printer design program winners from left: Sara Sabine of Madison, Jerica Cropp of Madison, Brittany Beaudet of Orange and Hannah Smith of Orange.

Germanna Community College Educational Foundation’s 3D printer design program winners from left: Sara Sabine of Madison, Jerica Cropp of Madison, Brittany Beaudet of Orange and Hannah Smith of Orange.

At a time when a national effort is underway to interest girls in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math careers, the winning team was all female students. The winning group included: Brittany Beaudet and Hannah Smith of Orange and Sara Sabine and Jerica Cropp of Madison.

Ben Sherman, a Daniel Center-based Business & Career Coordinator for Germanna’s Center for Workforce and Community Education, asked the Boys & Girls Club members what they learned.

“Make it better than the first time,” one volunteered.

“That’s the engineer’s point of view,” Sherman responded.

“Teamwork pays off,” a second said.

“That’s the key. Bill Gates from Microsoft didn’t do it all by himself,” Sherman said. “He had teams that worked together. Apple–the iPhone wasn’t created by one person. They had a team..”

Sherman said the girls on the winning team grasped the team principle first, working together the most closely and seamlessly of any team from the beginning.

“I had fun and learned a lot,” Beaudet, a member of the winning team, said.

Caleb Barnes of Orange said, “I enjoyed the whole experience–especially learning about gear ratios.”

Darius Trent of Orange said, “It was good experience on engineering. It was fun.”

“When you get back home you can brag to your friends, ‘I spent my spring break at college,’ ” Liaison to the President of Germanna Bruce L. Davis told the group before handing out workforce training certificates.   “Hopefully, you’ll come back. Germanna is a great place to learn. And as you get older and start to think about a career, we can help you.”

Francis Delaney of Somerset and Gail Marshall of Rapidan also contributed to a GCCEF fund that paid for the Central Virginia Boys & Girls Club’s week of engineering training.

The Central Virginia Boys & Girls Club covers Greene, Madison, Orange and Albemarle counties.

After the ceremony, Davis said the GCCEF wants to continue to offer similar programs for kids with the primary goal to “start planting the idea of college in kids’ minds beginning at around eighth grade”

“We’re trying to prepare them not just for college but to have life skills –and have fun doing it,” Sherman said. “It’s important to make it fun.”

 

 

Permalink: http://news.fredericksburg.com/germanna/2014/04/14/girl-power-tweens-win-engineering-design-contest-at-germanna/

  • J. C. Smith

    Good job, ladies! Congratulations.

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