Girl Day at UT Austin

Girl Day at UT Austin, including Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day and the Girl Day STEM Festival is an annual free event  hosted by the Women in Engineering Program (WEP).

Girl Day activities in the EER building

GirlDay gives elementary and middle school students a chance to explore STEM through grade-appropriate, hands-on activities hosted by volunteer scientists, engineers, and STEM enthusiasts from over 160 student organizations, research centers, corporate partners and community organizations. It is specifically designed for girls, but boys are also welcome as well.

Date: February 23rd, 2019 from 11.30AM to 5PM.

A few highlights of for this year’s event:

  • 8,781 K-8th Grade Registrants: 89% Girls, 33% Latina/Latino, 9% African American, 13% Asian, 72% from Central Texas, 12% from Greater San Antonio, 8% from Greater Houston, 5% from Dallas / Fort Worth, 3,150 (36%) Girl Scouts
  • 29 corporate partners with year with Halliburton, Texas Instruments, BASF and BAE Systems as presenting partners and Cisco Systems, Google Fiber, Intel and State Street as Area Partners
  • 164 companies, non-profits, colleges, student organizations, research groups & community partners including
  • 156 hands-on activities, shows, demonstrations and information areas
  • 1569 high school, college, alumni, corporate and community volunteers

TMI’s facilities managers, Dr. Karalee Jarvis and Dr. Raluca Gearba, guided students in exploring the world of atoms, molecules and crystals. The students discovered how atoms can be arranged in different ways to form crystals and materials with different physical properties (e.g. Diamond vs Graphite). They examined a wide variety of solid objects such as synthetic crystals (e.g. alum crystals), kitchen salt, transistors and metallic films  over a wide range of magnifications. starting with  unaided eyes (zero magnification), light microscopes and going over to scanning electron microscopes. Students played with atom model kits and visualized computerized crystal models.

Do you want to grow your own alum crystal?   Click here. Growing these crystals is relatively easy, can be done at home and will teach you a lot about the principles governing crystals growth. 

Some pictures from the event are shown below (Event Location: Texas Materials Institute Microscopy labs in EER):

Dr. Gearba is showing students how to use an Scanning Electron Microscope to image transistors and crystals.





Dr. Jarvis is explaining students how atoms are arranged in a crystal.





Do not forget to join us next year for Girl Day on February 22nd.