- These junior and senior girls at Antigo High School are building a marshmallow and spaghetti stick tower.
Laura Brodziski is an Antigo senior. She says, "Well, we just went big and tried to make the biggest one."
Kaylee Matucheski is an Antigo junior. She adss, "To use a lot of noodles at the bottom, and just lighten it as we got taller and use the big marshmallows at the bottom."
What they don't realize--is that in the process of building they're being engineers.
Karen Shu and Alice Yu are undergraduate students at MIT. They're visiting six school districts in the Northwoods to teach young women about science and engineering.
Shu says, "A lot of the talking is actually coming up with ideas, and coming up with design for a tower. I think that's where the heart of engineering is--it's coming up with creative ideas."
The exercise is part of the Massachusett's Institute of Technology or MIT's Women's Initiative. They say the tower challenge shows girls engineering isn't a lab coat or a factory job.
Yu tells Newswatch 12, "It's really supposed to just show how engineering is really just something anyone can do. It's a very simple concept, where you take raw materials and you build it up into something huge."
Shu and Yu's goal--open the eyes of these young women to what engineering really is and get rid of misconceptions.
Yu says, "I think it's really interesting because a lot of them don't really have that much exposure to it, they have what they see on a daily basis. Their concepts of engineers are 'Oh you know they make cars, that's it.'"
While Shu adds, "I hope that women across the county would know that science and engineering is an option for them."
An option that these young women are now considering.
The two MIT undergrads will be in Northwoods all week visiting schools--talking to middle and high school students.
Other school districts participating in the program include: Merrill, Elcho, Tomahawk, Rhinelander and White Lake.