Ladies who ‘launch’

By SHANTAE CHAPMAN

On Sept. 16 in Stiemke Hall at Mount Mary University, eight women (and one intrepid dad) built rockets. Eight rockets were launched to the clouds signaling the start of  MMUSES, Mount Mary University Students Experimenting with Science.

Dr. Suzanne Caulfield, instructor in the mathematics department at Mount Mary, “launched” the inaugural meeting of MMUSES with a presentation about how NASA’s rockets are made and launched.

Launch Date Details

Photo by DENISE SEYFER Dr. Deb Dosemagen stuffs her rocket with a special paper to keep it from burning up once launched, while Dr. Suzanne Caulfield explains the next rocket building step.

Photo by DENISE SEYFER
Dr. Deb Dosemagen stuffs her rocket with a special paper to keep it from burning up once launched, while Dr. Suzanne Caulfield explains the next rocket building step.

President Schwalbach spoke to those who attended the meeting and stressed how important it is for women of all disciplines to find math and science accessible and fun.

Dr. Deb Dosemagen, chair of Mount Mary education department and a MMUSES rocket builder, explained why math and science are important across all fields of study.

“I think activities like those in MMUSES help to challenge students’ perceptions about what math and science are all about,” Dosemagen said. “For one thing, there are many connections between the disciplines. Another perception that needs challenging is that these areas can really be fun!

According to a research study entitled, “Signaling threat: How situational cues affect women in math, science, and engineering settings,” by Mary C. Murphy, Claude M. Steele and James J. Gross in “Psychological Science” of Stanford University (2007), any activities that encourage young women to feel comfortable in the realms of math and science may have a very positive impact on both their interest and success in them.

MMUSES Participation

MMUSES is an extracurricular activity with no necessary commitments. It is open to students of any major.

Below are the dates for the next two events:

  • Oct. 16 at 4:30 p.m.: “Geocaching – Hunting treasure right on campus”
  • Nov. 13 – time TBD: “Stargazing – A field trip to Harrington Beach State Park”

MMUSES encourages students and staff at Mount Mary to get involved in more math and science activities on campus.

“Math and science is all around us,” Caulfield said.  “We want students to play, have fun and explore through touch, feel and sight in an active and engaging way. And have snacks!”

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