By Helen Widman
The Ceramic and Glass Industry Foundation (CGIF) supported Owens Corning on Friday, May 12 at a STEM Goes Red event held at the PAST Foundation in Columbus. STEM Goes Red is an initiative by the American Heart Association that aims to engage more young women in STEM fields.
The event brought 105 middle school students from Reynoldsburg City Schools and Columbus City Schools. The groups of students rotated through different rooms at the PAST Foundation, each room equipped with a unique STEM experience, from building bridges to dissecting pig hearts.
The Owens Corning rooms focused on fiber glass with two demonstrations to highlight its versatility. In the first room, students explored types of insulation using mini wooden house frames and Owens Corning’s signature pink fiber glass insulation, among other insulating materials like paper and cotton balls. Some houses were heated using hairdryers while others contained ice to mimic air conditioning and students saw how diverse types of insulation function in different scenarios. The students then utilized different materials to insulate their houses and even used infrared cameras to see how well they did.
In the second room, students learned about the concept of viscosity and how it applies to glass. Students pulled candy glass fibers in the CGIF’s Candy Fiber Pull lesson, which uses melted down hard candy to demonstrate molten glass and how fibers can be pulled from it in its liquid form. The students pulled the candy competition-style, and many of them were able to take home plush Pink Panthers™ as a memento for pulling the longest candy fibers in their session.
The event stretched from mid-morning to early afternoon, but by the end of the day, students continued to wander back into the Owens Corning room to pull candy fibers one last time or secure another take-home kit to do the Candy Fiber Pull with their families. The CGIF is grateful that we were able to assist Owens Corning with this successful STEM Goes Red event and inspire even more young female scientists to pursue STEM.
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