Middle school students explore futures in science

Students on Hovercrafts


A partnership between the University of Minnesota College of Science and Engineering (CSE) and Girls Inc. at the YWCA of Minneapolis, the Eureka! program offers a unique opportunity for young girls; the ability to visualize themselves as scientists and engineers.

Departments within CSE make this possible by hosting events and activities for girls in the Eureka program to participate in. One particular activity, called "Hovercraft Astronauts," is hosted by AEM Professor, James Flaten.

During this event students in the Eureka! program have the opportunity to use rideable hovercraft, which provide a no-friction platform that allows for them to study Newton's Laws of Motion and to discuss one way astronauts prepare for the friction free environment that they work in when in orbit.

“Hovercraft Astronauts' is an all-around favorite," says CSE Outreach Coordinator, Kelsi Klaers.

Kelsi, who works as a liaison between CSE and Girls Inc. at the YWCA of Minneapolis staff on the Eureka! program explains that the objective of the program is to encourage young girls from diverse backgrounds to pursure post-secondary education, and STEM programs. By participating in activities like Hovercraft Astronauts, these young girls get hands-on experience that can help them to form an identity and to visualize a future for their education.