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The Golda Girls | Tina Gleason, Team Captain

In Milwaukee last year, Harley-Davidson asked eight teams to come up with an Interactive Outdoor playground element that could potentially be used on the Harley-Davidson museum campus. An all-girl team signed up to compete. Students Camilah, Jerrya, and Dayana along with their teacher, Tina Gleason, combined their different backgrounds and skills to create a spectacular idea in just 48 hours.

Tina Gleason has spent 10 years teaching STEM learning. From computer science, to biomedical, to circuitry, Tina has been trained in technology modules from Project Lead The Way, with the Air & Space Museum, Smithsonian, InventEd, and was a semi-finalist at the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow competition. She currently reaches the minds of young women at Golda Meir High School, a public school with a program for the gifted and talented. The program allows students to experience an array of activities and curriculums, cultural and educational. Tina’s ex-students and teammates, Camilah, Jerrya, and Dayana - spent time designing and creating solutions to problems existing at their middle school. From a robotic recycling container to a hydraulic game machine, they enjoyed the hands-on learning challenges thrown at them.

Tina talks to us about her team and how they survived the 48 hour competition.

Jerrya, Camilah, Dayana and Tina at MIAD

How did Golda Girls hear about the competition?

Harley-Davidson is one of our partners at our school and reached out to us. With Make48’s information, they said ‘this would be a really good fit for your students.” I took a look and thought we could do it. I reached out to a group of girls I worked with the previous year and said I really want to represent girls at the event.

Last year I had a ‘Sustainability Class’. It was my first year teaching it and the class was amazing. We worked on initiatives for the school. A few things we created were mindfulness rooms inside classrooms, gardens, and a sustainable playground. The girls in the class took on a lot of leadership roles, especially Camilla. She’s constructed amazing engineering and science projects where she didn’t get recognized. Camilla was the first student I asked to be on the team and seize this opportunity. I also reached out to Jerrya and Dayana and they were very excited about the idea.

How was it working with your students?

It was great, but stressful! They were super serious about it. But they’re also kids, and needed their breaks. Time management was a really hard one for all of us. Half of us procrastinator’s and the other half wanted tasks done quickly. Even though we had Techs to build our idea, certain machines were backed up. I think we needed to be more forceful in what we needed.

Understanding our team’s personalities better, really would have helped. I think we also should have planned our idea out more. We verbalized our ideas, but didn’t put them to paper. That could have helped us explain our vision more, and what we needed for it, such as materials. There was some bickering between us, but we ended up finishing our prototype just before the clock hit zero.

Would you return to do another M48 competition?

Yes, absolutely. I think it was really a lot of fun and would love to do it again. Even if I can’t come back with the same group of girls, I’d love to bring back a new team of girl power!

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