On a few different occasions this winter Nadine Davis and I were asked to help Walking Mountains Science Center aid three different groups of girls in the “Girls in Science” program in Edwards, Red Sandstone & June Creek Elementary Schools.
The project, part of their Simple Mechanics unit, involved taking apart a bike and putting it back together while identifying the Simple Mechanic parts of the bikes (i.e. quick releases, chain ring, chain). The lesson, entitled “Take it apart & put it back together” involved splitting the girls into 2 groups and taking apart 2 similar kids bikes that you could purchase at Walmart.
I came prepared with lots of tools, and expecting to do most of the taking apart, BOY was I wrong. With chain breakers in hands, these girls, ranging in ages from 8-12, were ready for the challenge and only needed help loosening things. With the right directions, these little ladies took apart the bikes with such excitement, they were almost disappointed to have to give the pedal wrench to the next girl. They took everything apart on the bike from the wheels, chain and pedals, to the brakes, handle bar and seat, while carefully labeling each part as they took it off the bike to ensure they would put it back on the bike correctly. When it was time to put the bike back together, the girls did it with the same excitement they had in the beginning.
“Many girls who are usually difficult to focus, were extremely engaged!” – Nicole Abrams, Girls in Science Coordinator
Sharing with these little ladies my love of taking things apart and on a bike, which is a sport that I have only grown to love as an adult was such an amazing experience, and I can not wait to do it again!
Tracy Sample has worked in Venture Sports Ski Shop since 2002 and is a Vail Valley fixture not only participating in community activities like this and skiing regularly but riding hard on both her road and ride bike with a large posse of Colorado locals! We at Venture Sports are proud to have such active members of our community like this on our team, and her passion for Colorado carries through from her lifestyle right onto her service at our shop.