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February 17, 2010 > Math and science Discovery Day

Math and science Discovery Day

By Alissa Gwynn
Photos By courtesy of Miriam Keller

Planetarium shows, building "bridges," testing the pH of common food items - all of these and more are being offered as classes at the American Association of University of Women (AAUW), Fremont Branch's twenty-first Mother/Daughter Math and Science Discovery Day.

Discovery Day, which was first created in 1995 and occurred only once a year, has now grown into two separate days, one for fifth and sixth graders in November and another for third and fourth graders that will be held on February 27 this year.

Miriam Keller, coordinator of the event, says, "About fifteen years ago, the AAUW asked for studies to be done at colleges, and what these studies showed were that girls were not even getting turned on by science. So this program was originally started to get girls interested, and to let girls know that there is nothing gender specific about science or math, and that they can enjoy it too."

Classes offered for girls and their mothers (or grandmothers, aunts, etc.) include: tackling tangrams, building a better bridge, kitchen chemistry, gravity-defying frogs, electrical circuits and electromagnetism, Do vibrations make noise?, mad messages: science spy codes, be a super star hand washer; make a bar of soap, and levers and pulleys: Can you lift your mom with one hand?

In the tangram class, for example, girls will be asked to use tangrams (various geometric shapes) to construct certain pictures, such as a bird or animal. Keller says, "The tangram class is supposed to help people with geometric objects, because girls are not supposed to have that facility as much as boys do."

Mary Lynn Pelican, Membership Vice President of the AAUW Fremont Branch, says, "Because our mission statement is: to advance equity for women and girls through advocacy, education and research, we want girls to [have the opportunity] to go into alternative careers in math or science."

One such girl, Radhika Mitra, attended Discovery Day as a young girl and has helped the program come full circle; she is now teaching the 'Gravity-defying frogs' workshop.

Each class is 35 minutes long; mother-daughter pairs will be able to select and participate in five of the nine classes based on their order of preference when they register.

The next Discovery Day will be held on Saturday, February 27 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. at Hopkins Junior High School, and costs $22 per mother and daughter pair (add $12 for a second child). Checks can be made out to Fremont Branch AAUW. The AAUW will provide a light breakfast and snacks, and will be giving out door prizes at the end of the program.

To register for the event, visit, and click on the Math and Science Discovery Day link to access the registration flyer. Space is limited, and registration must be received by February 20 in order to participate.

Mother/Daughter Math and Science Discovery Day (3rd & 4th grades)
Saturday, February 27
8:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.
Hopkins Jr. High
600 Driscoll Road, Fremont
For more information, contact Miriam Keller at

$22 per mother daughter pair, $12 more to add a second child

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