Girls Design Rube Goldberg Fish Feeders in Tech Bridge

From Wikipedia:  A Rube Goldberg machine, device, or apparatus is a deliberately over-engineered or overdone machine that performs a very simple task in a very complex fashion, usually including a chain reaction. The expression is named after American cartoonist and inventor Rube Goldberg (1883-1970).

The girls designed elaborate, comical machines using pulleys, levers, dropping marbles, planes, inclines, fulcrums – you name it and they used it!

Build IT

As part of the STEM program Build IT, the girls are creating message boards and blog accounts where they are able to chat live  with each other. During this session they learned how to develop a clear theme for a blog, making it easy to navigate and including at least four images and four links to external sources.


Building Comprehension in GIRLStart

Step 1:  The girls looked at the pictures.
Step 2:  They read the words on the page.
Step 3:  They wrote their questions on post it notes to put on the “Question Tree” on the board.
Step 4:  They discussed their questions and suggested answers in a discussion format which encouraged
            the girls to make inferences based upon what they saw and read.
Step 5:  They read the book a second time.

The book, The Mysteries of Harris Burdick by Chris Van Allsburg, also led to some good discussion about fact vs. fiction, reality vs. fantasy.

Build IT Tours UNO Studios

One of the summer field trips for Build IT.  Tour guide:  Ms. Angel Martin

I went to UNO with Ms. Candice and the girls from the 11-12 year old age group.  Our tour guide Ms. Angel (she used to work at Girls Inc.) took us inside this room where they do interviews and edit what people say.  We got to play around recording our voices and playing them back to hear what we sound like….I had a really nice time at UNO and learned a lot about technology.  After today, I think this is something I may go to college for! – Jasmine 

…I got to record my voice and do a phone call interview.  I sounded horrible but I was new to it so that’s OK.  As I sat down and actually recorded my voice – when I heard it, I realized that is was really soft.  The closer you are to the mic, the better.  It was really cool. Ms. Angel talked about how back in the day when they made a tape or recording they had to cut the tapes and put them together.  If you cut a tape too short, then they were messed up and it was too bad because when you’re physically cutting something, it’s hard to redo it.  There was no back button or delete button.   Now there is better technology to use when recording and interviewing people as well as editing things.  The deadlines for interviews are very important.  If you miss a deadline, it made the flow of everything go back a little and if you miss a deadline too often you could get fired from your job.  I learned a lot.  Thanks Ms. Angel – you did great! – Dae

We talked about how you can’t cuss on live air. – Ty’Auna

The field trip around UNO studios was totally amazing…They even let us speak into the mic.  We learned how they make their broadcasts and how they made them in the olden days.  We learned how they cut the film and how they pieced it together like a big technical puzzle.  We even heard one of Ms. Angel’s broadcasts.  She was talking about the arts (poetry).  She was talking about kids and their problems and how they settled them with their poems.  After we left that room we went to another room and saw and talked about how they call people to interview them and what questions to ask.  While in that room we met Robyn and “The Voice” (Josh)…Overall I loved the tour and would love to go and do the whole thing all over again. – Victoria

I learned that to put a person on air you first have to interview them to get your topic and the information; then make different paragraphs or parts; and then put it all together.  Then you have a story.  To put it on the air you would have to edit it; then log on to your account on the computer and go to the editing page and type in your topic and information.  Then turn your radio station to you and then do your thing! – Taleah

I loved the field trip because I love technology and we got to see the new and old technology they use.  KVNO 90.7 is the radio broadcast.  We got to do a radio interview with Ms. Crystal and I got ecorded and I sounded really weird.  She hung up and we didn’t know and everyone started to laugh.  We listened to an arts broadcast by Ms. Angel called Louder than a Bomb…We also did a recording and Ms. Angel cut some things and made a real broadcast.  We also talked to some interns named Lindsey and Robyn about their schedule.  Ms. Angel showed us the room they use for 3 or 4-person interviews.  It was really fun and taught us a lot.  Thank you Ms. Angel.  – Aviera


“Restaurant Reviewers” at Spaghetti Works

My experience at Spaghetti Works was very good.  The hostess & waitress were nothing but kind and the food nothing but excellent.  The salad was a great opener for the Grilled Chicken Alfredo, which was definitely above par.  After dessert – I had an amazing chocolate chip cookie filled with hot fudge served with a side of ice cream – I felt I had to be rolled out the door.  The environment was fun and happy but had a good vintage feel to it.  Thank you Spaghetti Works for the lovely experience.  I give you 5 stars and a very happy customer. – Skylar

Going to this restaurant there was no surprise that the food there was delicious.  They gave us great service considering our large group.  It is definitely a family restaurant.  The restaurant was respectably clean.  We were greeted by a cheerful hostess.  We ordered our drinks and food in a quick minute.  The waitress was understanding when there was something missing.  Overall, I can honestly say it was convenient and had excellent service.  I will definitely be going back.  5 Stars – Kelsey

I’ve never been to Spaghetti works before so I did not know what to expect but it was outstanding.  They have a variety of different food but I ordered some lasagna and Sprite.  I was so hungry I devoured my food in five minutes.  The waitress was quick on her toes.  I had tasty brownies & ice cream for dessert.  My experience was wonderful and I would love to come back. – Kionna

As we walked in, I thought it has a nice view.  The waiter was magnificent.  They seated us quickly and that’s great.  We sat and looked at the menu.  All of the food sounded good but my taste buds were set on the ravioli.  I thought it was going to be confusing for the waitress but I guess she had it all under control and she brought our food with no problems.  When she gave me my food, it looked mighty delicious and when it was in my mouth it was even better than what it looked like.  I ate all of it with no problems and then it was time for dessert.  I had the brownie and fudge sundae.  It was marvelous!  I’ve been there before but I have to say that this was the best because everything was fast and my experience this time was great.  I think that I would come back. – Laquisha

One other time in my life I had been to a Spaghetti Works but that was back in the 8th grade so I didn’t really remember my experience.  When first arriving there we were welcomed by a waitress.  Walking through the restaurant on our way to our tables, the restaurant looked very clean.  After we sat down the waitress came over and asked for our drink orders.  She looked very excited to be at work.  The drinks came very quickly and as soon as we received them she asked for our order.  The food came quickly and was very fresh.  She gave us time to eat and also checked to see if we needed refills on our drinks.  Overall, I would give my experience a 5 star. – Sam

I had not been to Spaghetti works before but it was great.  The hostess greeted me with a nice smile on her face.  My order and drink came on time.  The waitress was wonderful.  I would say the service was decent and the food was awesome.  I would definitely go back. – Jazzmine

This was my first time going to Spaghetti Works.  The hostess was great and had a positive attitude.  I liked that my order was taken right away and it didn’t take long for our food to arrive.  The restaurant was very clean and the food was mouth watering.  I hope to go back soon!  – Zahara

I liked going to Spaghetti Works for the first time.  The food was excellent and I like how the hostess greeted us.  I ordered Chicken Alfredo with Chocolate Craving as dessert.  The Chicken Alfredo was amazing and the Chocolate Craving was delicious.  Our waitress was very polite.  I’d definitely refer a friend to Spaghetti Works or go again myself.  Rate: 5 ½  Stars     – anonymous


Ms. Antianna Comes Full Circle

Now ready to finish her degree in psychology and dance this fall semester at Stephens College, Ms. Antianna was a Girls Inc. member herself when she was a girl.  She spent this summer teaching the Girls Inc. kindergarten class and teaching dance classes.  When she was a teen at Girls Inc., Antianna expressed an interest in clothing design and making her own clothes.  A board member donated a sewing machine.  Ms. Antianna is now using that very same sewing machine to make tutu’s for the ballet girls dancing in the annual talent show this Friday (5:30 pm at the North Omaha Center – 2811 North 45th St).  Full circle!

We are thrilled to have Ms. Antianna with us this summer – reflecting upon what she was given at Girls Inc. and giving back to the next generation of girls.  Soon we’ll be posting Ms. Antianna’s college graduation photos! 

Check out these trophies!

Jayleesha and Arianna received math trophies during the last week of school.  They both agreed that participating in Operation SMART after school helped them do better in math during the school day.

“Operation SMART helps girls learn things they didn’t learn yet in school so they can get prepared.  Or if they already learned it in school they can practice more at Operation SMART.  Like subtraction or addition.  We did both of those at Operation SMART.  My mom wants me to do well in school so my mom helps me with math, too.” – Jayleesha

“Yes, Operation SMART makes you learn more.  And learn better.  If you get 100% you might get a trophy, too.” – Arianna

Girls In the Kitchen

On Saturday, March 19th the Junior League of Omaha treated Girls Inc. members to a Kids in the Kitchen nutrition fair – complete with healthy snacks (yogurt parfaits!!), hands on activities, and a gift of a pedometer for each girl.  In addition to learning about healthy eating, the girls learned about careers in food such as nutritionists, dieticians, chefs, food scientists, and more.  Some of the girls even learened a new skill – peeling fresh carrots for the first time!

The Junior League of Omaha prepared this slide show of the day’s events:  And to see our Facebook album for more photos, click here:

Charlie & The Chocolate Fondue


What time was it when the girls in the book club finished Charlie & The Chocolate Factory?   Time to write a letter to the author, watch the movie, and dive into some chocolate fondue.

One of the girls reads her letter to the author:  
The recipe for the fondue revealed:  
What’s better dipped in chocolate – marshmallows or bananas?:

Parent Sharing

The Girls Inc. staff hosted a parent sharing day on Saturday, March 12 for the girls attending the Emma Lozier Center in South Omaha.  With an international theme, parents and girls were treated to a meal with foods from around the world: fried chicken for the USA, Ethiopian food and bread, and pupusas from El Salvador.  Girls Inc. staff shared information about the program and the girls’ activities with Spanish and African dialect translations.  Girls and families had an opportunity to create a craft project together. The turnout of parents was fabulous! 

At the sharing, the GIRLStart parents and girls took over the second floor of the center to participate in a read aloud of Everybody Bakes Bread.  The girls were able to sample breads mentioned in the book and to participate in accompanying craft projects.  From Barbados, the girls tried coconut bread.  And then they created a seashell craft project (although for many of the girls it was more of a glitter-sequin-glue project with a seashell thrown in for good measure…).  The girls had challah from Italy, cornbread from the USA, and Italian bread from Italy (thank you Orsi bakery!).