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Contact Information: Tanya Klein Public Relations 973-596-3433

Young Girls Build Space Stations, Tie-Dye T-Shirts To Learn Science at NJIT

More than 100 young girls from throughout New Jersey enrolled in the NJIT FEMME program will complete an assortment of hands-on, exciting science projects—from building space stations to tie-dyeing t-shirts--during the next two final weeks of FEMME.

The five-week program, now in its 29th year will whirl to a fabulous finish as the girls (ages 8-15), participate in captivating lessons designed to inspire.  Experienced classroom science teachers help them understand the principles of physics, chemistry and more.  (See more below for specific towns and cities.)   

 “FEMME overcomes the perennial gender gap in math, science and engineering,” said Suzanne Berliner-Heyman, program director. Studies show, she added, that girls inexplicably fall behind boys in math and science once they hit middle and high schools. FEMME redresses the problem by making difficult math and science concepts relevant, memorable and fun. Instructors are intentionally female to demonstrate role models. Outcome data and alums for interviews are available.  

(EDITORS:  Interview times are available through Aug. 4, 2010.  Not all students are included in all events.  Contact Sheryl Weinstein, 973-596-3436, for details.)

Ken Zushma, who teaches technology to middle school youngsters in the Livingston Public Schools, highlights the space program over the next week.  

Designing a Space Station

Students will learn about the International Space Station and the Intrepid, visit the

Intrepid and then design and construct their own space stations.

Stephanie Suriano, who teaches during the school year science at Roosevelt Middle School in West Orange, will focus on the following.

Solar Cookers

This lesson shows how recycled newspapers can be made into solar cookers.

What’s Insulation?

Lab work examines how different materials act as insulators.

Elizabeth Zushma, a chemistry teacher at Howell High School, works with the oldest group of girls entering seventh and eighth grades this fall.  Her projects will include the following.

Designing Wheelchairs

This gives students a taste of one of the newest fields: bio-engineering. 

Understanding Acids

Working with an acid-based cleaning lab, students come to understand and rank acids versus bases.


Chromatography, which is the separation of mixtures, will be the focus of several lessons teaching how to make glue from milk and more. 

Tie-Dye T-Shirts  To Learn About Chemical Reactions

Building on earlier lessons Zushma explains through tie-dyeing cotton t-shirts how a chemical reaction takes place.

 FEMME participants live in Belleville (2), Bloomfield (4), East Orange (1), Fords (1), Glen Ridge (1), Hillside (2), Hoboken (1), Jersey City (5), Livingston (6), Maplewood (2), New Milford (1), Newark (6), Passaic (12), Paterson (2), Perth Amboy (15), Plainfield (1), Rahway (1), Rutherford (2), Scotch Plains (1), Skillman (1), Somerset (1), South Orange (1), Teaneck (2), Union (1), Union City (32), Warren (3), Weehawkin (1), West New York (1).

One of the nation's leading public technological universities, New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) is a top-tier research university that prepares students to become leaders in the technology-dependent economy of the 21st century. NJIT's multidisciplinary curriculum and computing-intensive approach to education provide technological proficiency, business acumen and leadership skills. With an enrollment of more than 10,000 graduate and undergraduate students, NJIT offers small-campus intimacy with the resources of a major public research university. NJIT is a global leader in such fields as solar research, nanotechnology, resilient design, tissue engineering, and cyber-security, in addition to others. NJIT ranks 5th among U.S. polytechnic universities in research expenditures, topping $110 million, and is among the top 1 percent of public colleges and universities in return on educational investment, according to PayScale.com.