Young Engineers Building Bridges to their Futures

Community Relations Specialist Dan Marcy answers young engineers’ post-presentation questions/NNYB Outreach

Community Relations Specialist Dan Marcy answers young engineers’ post-presentation questions/NNYB Outreach

The 400 students from Anne M. Dorner Middle School’s 6th- and 7th-grade classes watched, enchanted. Teachers and administrators did, too.

“We loved seeing it,” Assistant Principal Erica Naughton said of the video “Project Year 2014 in Two Minutes” that held everyone’s attention.

The kids learned “about the bridge, its history, why it’s being rebuilt, and what it will look like when finished,” Naughton said of the presentation earlier this month. “Also about the materials being used and what they’ll do with the metal when they recycle the old bridge.”

“Whenever we get an option to provide students with real world experience that they can connect to the classroom, it makes the lesson purposeful.” — Assistant Principal Erica Naughton

It was helpful for them to see different career opportunities when people working on various areas of the project were highlighted with their job titles.

Fine-tuning a bridge design contest entry/NNYB Outreach

Fine-tuning a bridge design contest entry/NNYB Outreach

They had lots of questions. “One student asked on the way out if the old bridge would fall down,” she said. “I’ve been talking about the bridge since I was a kid. The answer was ‘no, they’re building a new bridge now because the current one is too expensive to maintain.”

Another student asked what they’ll do with the old bridge. “They’ll repurpose the parts and melt down the metal to use for other projects,” she said. The kids were excited to get souvenir posters!

After the presentation, students in Maria Levine’e technology class who were entering the Engineering Encounters Bridge Design Contest got one-on-one feedback from project officials. “They got help with redesign, meeting the competition’s specifics, and fine-tuning their ideas,” Naughton said.

* * * * *

Students are preparing for the Regional STEM Festival on March 7.

stemfestwp

“We need to do something to increase students’ interest in this,” Naughton said. “If a students becomes interested in middle school, and maintains that interest in high school and college, then he or she may go into one of those areas as a career.”

The program features “anything in the area of robotics inventions, major research and exhibitions. The kids get feedback from evaluators to help them move their programs along, and it’s a fun learning experience,” she said.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2015

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