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Grand Forks mothers, daughters learn about STEM

Coco Muth, 6, right, touches a foaming mixture resulting from a chemical reaction composed of dish soap, baking soda, water and yeast during a science, technology, engineering and mathematics workshop January 26, 2019, in the Grand Forks Public Library. Muth was one of several children who attended the STEM workshop hosted by Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota, which was designed specifically for mothers to learn alongside their daughters about electrical, mechanical and chemical engineering. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Elora J. Martinez)

Coco Muth, 6, right, touches a foaming mixture resulting from a chemical reaction composed of dish soap, baking soda, water and yeast during a science, technology, engineering and mathematics workshop January 26, 2019, in the Grand Forks Public Library. Muth was one of several children who attended the STEM workshop hosted by Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota, which was designed specifically for mothers to learn alongside their daughters about electrical, mechanical and chemical engineering. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Elora J. Martinez)

Lucy Praska, 6, listens to the instructions given by a volunteer with the University of North Dakota Society of Women Engineers during an experiment using electronic snap circuits at a science, technology, engineering and mathematics workshop January 26, 2019, in the Grand Forks Public Library. Praska attended the STEM workshop offered for mothers and daughters from Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota, and the local community, and participated in a number of experiments to demonstrate mechanical, electrical and chemical engineering. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Elora J. Martinez)

Lucy Praska, 6, listens to the instructions given by a volunteer with the University of North Dakota Society of Women Engineers during an experiment using electronic snap circuits at a science, technology, engineering and mathematics workshop January 26, 2019, in the Grand Forks Public Library. Praska attended the STEM workshop offered for mothers and daughters from Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota, and the local community, and participated in a number of experiments to demonstrate mechanical, electrical and chemical engineering. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Elora J. Martinez)

Bryn Larson, 12, uses her hands to combine a mixture of baking soda, water, Epsom salt and essential oil in order to create a do-it-yourself bath melt during a science, technology, engineering and mathematics workshop January 26, 2019, in the Grand Forks Public Library. The workshop was open to all mother-daughter duos from Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota, and the local area, in hopes to promote STEM careers not just as an option for boys, but girls too. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Elora J. Martinez)

Bryn Larson, 12, uses her hands to combine a mixture of baking soda, water, Epsom salt and essential oil in order to create a do-it-yourself bath melt during a science, technology, engineering and mathematics workshop January 26, 2019, in the Grand Forks Public Library. The workshop was open to all mother-daughter duos from Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota, and the local area, in hopes to promote STEM careers not just as an option for boys, but girls too. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Elora J. Martinez)

Isabella Escobar, 12, left, Abigail Reite, 8, right, and their mother, Jessica Reite, participate in a mechanical engineering experiment during a science, technology, engineering and mathematics workshop January 26, 2019, in the Grand Forks Public Library. In addition to building structures made of plastic cups, STEM workshop participants also created electronic circuits and mixed their own bath melts to learn more about electrical and chemical engineering. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Elora J. Martinez)

Isabella Escobar, 12, left, Abigail Reite, 8, right, and their mother, Jessica Reite, participate in a mechanical engineering experiment during a science, technology, engineering and mathematics workshop January 26, 2019, in the Grand Forks Public Library. In addition to building structures made of plastic cups, STEM workshop participants also created electronic circuits and mixed their own bath melts to learn more about electrical and chemical engineering. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Elora J. Martinez)

GRAND FORKS AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. --

GRAND FORKS AIR FORCE BASE, N.D.— Teams of mothers and daughters flowed into an upstairs room of the Grand Forks Public Library on a Saturday morning, January 26, 2019. The women and girls seated themselves in anticipation of the science, technology, engineering and mathematics workshop they came for, hosted by the base Airman and Family Readiness Center.

The mother-daughter STEM workshop was led by local volunteers with the University of North Dakota Society of Women Engineers who served as role models to show attendees STEM careers are for girls and boys.

The workshop is one of several the A&FRC has hosted within the last year, according to Kelly Painter, support coordinator with the Exceptional Family Member Program, 319th Force Support Squadron.

“We have such a great opportunity to highlight STEM on base,” Painter said. “Our outreach has exploded, and attendance is growing at every event we do.”

Painter continued to explain how Grand Forks Air Force Base’s STEM programs reach beyond its own community: “We received nearly $30,000 in grants to create 43 STEM kits in partnership with public libraries across the state of North Dakota,” she stated. “1,200 children statewide have checked out the kits, each of which is unique and offers different STEM experiments for children to learn with.”

The group of 15 mothers and daughters participated in a variety of engineering experiments led by the SWE volunteers, to include creating electrical circuit boards, building structures with plastic cups and formulating bath melts using at-home ingredients.

The children, aging from six to 12 years old, buzzed with focus and excitement throughout each experiment, eager to accomplish each step with a hands-on approach.

“STEM can be as simple as you make it,” Painter explained. “People can seek out local opportunities to see what their children are interested in, whether at home or in the community.”

Participants expressed their excitement in the event, and picked a favorite experiment.

“It’s important to see role models like the women here in order to expand ideas of what [my daughter] can do,” Chelsea Larson said, after her daughter, Bryn, explained her favorite experiment was creating bath melts.

The A&FRC on base has several events annually similar to the STEM workshop, and is always looking for ways to get families involved in the community. For more information about future events and opportunities, head to https://www.319fss.com or call the A&FRC at 701-747-3241.