The YWCA Greater Pittsburgh

STEM Impact STEM Impact Training Initiative is a systems-building effort to build enthusiasm and capacity for informal STEM education in the Greater Pittsburgh community

29 July 2013 ~ 2 Comments

Design a Dome

A dome is a rounded vault forming the roof of a building or structure, typically with a circular base. Students engage in this challenge by drawing a diagram of their planned dome on paper and make a list of the materials they think they will require. After constructing the dome with the everyday resources they [...]

14 July 2013 ~ 0 Comments

Filtration Investigation

A filter passes a liquid, gas, light, or sound through a device to remove unwanted material. In this session participants work as a team to design a filtration system to remove as much dirt and debris from a provided water supply as possible. The group with the clearest water will be recognized for having developed [...]

03 July 2013 ~ 1 Comment

Life Vest Challenge

Engineers work to solve the daily challenges of society, such as creating and improving devices that can help prevent loss of life in water. Students work in groups to develop a design, using every day materials, that can keep an unopened canned good floating for at least a minute in a bucket of water.

03 July 2013 ~ 1 Comment

Popsicle Bridge

This session explores how civil engineers build bridges that are designed to hold weight, be durable, and even be pleasing  to the eye. Students put on their thinking caps to brainstorm ways to create and aesthetically pleasing bridge that can hold 5 pound of weight made entirely of Popsicle sticks and glue!

23 June 2013 ~ 1 Comment

Roving on the Moon

Can you imagine driving and all-terrain vehicle on the moon? In this session participants design and build a rubber band-powered rover that can scramble across the floor.

07 June 2013 ~ 0 Comments

Tennis Anyone?

This session explores how engineers in the sports industry apply the latest materials, manufacturing techniques, and shapes to enhance sporting — while maintaining the rules of a sport. Students work in groups to design a racquet made out of everyday materials that can volley against another team’s racquet six times.

03 June 2013 ~ 0 Comments

Tinkering with Tops

How can you design your own spinning top that can spin for at least 10 seconds? Students explore this topic as they design and build their own tops from everyday materials.

03 June 2013 ~ 0 Comments

Design Squad: Zip Line

Students design and build something that can carry a Ping-Pong ball from the top of a zip line string to the bottom in four seconds (or less!).

15 May 2013 ~ 0 Comments

Operation Espionage

Students create invisible ink and write secret messages with it. Participants later discover how to make the hidden messages appear!

03 May 2013 ~ 0 Comments


Cartoon animation works by stringing together a series of drawings in rapid sequence, as the human eye fills in the gaps between each image. In this session participants will create their very own flip book with a series of pictures that vary gradually from one page to the next, so that when the pages are [...]