2015 Operation SMART Program

The 2015 Operation SMART program was the first year of the program that was hosted at the Walter and Gladys Hill school. This year also held an expanded program with additional engineering disciplines added to the curriculum thanks to additional sponsors. The program ran from September 12th to November 7th with a new engineering discipline being introduced each week.

Date Topic Activities
12-Sep-2015 Intro to Engineering What is an engineer? Egg Drop Challenge
19-Sep-2015 Mechanical Engineering Kinetic and Potential Energy. Rube Goldberg Machine
26-Sep-2015 Civil Engineering Marshmallow towers. Geodesic Domes
3-Oct-2015 Electrical Engineering Operation Game. Wind Turbines. Circuit Diagrams
10-Oct-2015 Thanksgiving weekend
17-Oct-2015 Chemical Engineering Acids and Bases. Candy making. Paper Recycling. PFDs
24-Oct-2015 Oil Sands Oil Sands Extraction. Museum scavenger hunts. PFDs
31-Oct-2015 Halloween Jack-o-lanterns. Screaming balloons. Candy bags
7-Nov-2015 Computer Science Build a Mini HTML Website


Week 1: Introduction

In the first week, we started off with an introduction to project management, balancing time, scope, and resources with a newspaper tower activity. The first iteration the girls had to build a tall tower with just newspaper. In the second iteration they had additional materials but only 2 minutes to build!

Then the girls did an engineering design activity, designing and building a contraption to prevent an egg from breaking! They first worked in their teams to design the contraption, determining which materials they need and how they would assemble it. Then they had to purchase the materials using credits, only 100 credits per team! Finally they tested their product!

All of the girls made great designs and posed with their egg contraptions and team names. Great job!


Week 2: Mechanical Engineering

In the second week, the girls learned about forces and energy with simple machines like levers, ramps and pulleys! They did a number of activities and some calculations showing how these simple machines reduce the work we need to perform a task.

The girls then completed an engineering design challenge to build a Rube Goldberg Machine! They combined what they learned about simple machines to create cool contraptions!

Week 3: Civil Engineering

In Week 3, the girls learned about strong shapes, making triangle structures with straws and tape, and with K’nex.

The girls then worked together to build a giant geodesic dome, one of the strongest structures in the world! Of course, we had to test how strong it was, adding more and more weight until it finally collapsed!

Finally the girls used what they learned about strong shapes to build spaghetti marshmallow towers!


Week 4: Electrical Engineering

In week 4, the girls got an introduction to circuits and how to draw circuit diagrams. They also learned how to read resistance levels on resistors using the color coding and tested them using a multimeter.

The girls then applied their circuit skills to build an operation style game that buzz when to connect to parts of a diagram.


Week 5: Chemical Engineering

In week 5, the girls did some chemical reactions, learning about acids and bases, testing the pH of different products and making some marshmallow molecular structures.

Then they learned a little bit about process engineering, working through the candy-making process and the paper-recycling process.

The girls used their knowledge of processes to design their own plants and make process flow diagrams (PFDs).


Week 6: Oil Sands

In week 6, the girls took a trip to the Oil Sands Discovery Centre. They learned about oil sands mining, extraction and upgrading processes with a scavenger hunt through the museum. They even got to drive the heavy haul truck simulator!

Then the girls got to try their hands on a hot water extraction process, mixing oil sands with hot water to extract the bitumen.

Then they applied some process engineering concepts to draw PFDs of the oil sands process.


Week 7: Halloween!

Week 7 was halloween weekend and some girls decided to dress in their costumes. We learned about industrial engineering processes and made a candy bag assembly line. The girls will have lots of trick or treat candy this year!

Then we made some more cool circuits with light up paper jack-o-lanterns!

Finally we got a little spooky with some screaming ghost balloons! The girls learned how kinetic energy translates into sounds and how mechanical engineers can use sound to test for vibrations.


Week 8: Computer Science

In the final week, the girls got tech-y and learned html to build their own web pages!

They all posted a page about their most fun experiences with Operation SMART, adding in backgrounds, pictures, fonts and hyperlinks to make their page unique. View the awesome website here: http://girlsincsmart2015.com/

So many future engineers!

Join us next year for more fun in Operation SMART!

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