Moving Forward with STEM, STEAM, New Classes

Learning how the project relates to STEM education/NNYB

Learning how the project relates to STEM education/NNYB

How cool is it to look through the eyepiece and see clear across the river and see a worker walking on the platform or even see the other side of the bridge.

This presentation focused on the platforms and blue girders, the modular system and how the bridge is built and included information from earlier presentations, Orande Daring said.

Principal at Southern Westchester BOCES since January, Daring oversees five programs in its Secondary Career and Technical Education Program.

“Keep in mind we have commercial art, architecture and design, and a pre-engineering class, and they study 3D design and use AutoCAD (computer-aided design),” he said. “During the presentation they showed us a sample of the software used and how different organizations check different aspects of the bridge (virtually) to inspect the design.

Seeing the view from Tarrytown to across the river/NNYB

Seeing the view from Tarrytown to across the river/NNYB

It included information about local contractors and job creation, which was important for his students.

Students who attended the afternoon presentation asked lots of questions. He asked about safety precautions for jumpers and learned about anti-climb fencing except for the lookout points, where they’ll have safety nets.

“They plan for everything but unless you ask you won’t know,” he smiled, and some things can’t be revealed due to security measures. “I wasn’t aware they build bridges with such a high level of restriction that project officials can’t reveal all aspects.”

While the kids were outside they saw barges passing with water for mixing concrete, and some of the barges with blue girders attached.

One observation noted was the towers grew in height.

Students learn about various careers on the project/NNYB

Students learn about various careers on the project/NNYB

“We went in the morning and saw the V-shaped towers they were building, and by the afternoon it looked like one of them was higher,” Daring said.

It takes 10 days for the concrete to cure, he learned. “Little did we know they’re hollow inside so workers can walk up inside the towers for bridge maintenance,” he said. “I found that interesting.”

Commercial arts students learned about non-engineering careers: creating graphics and posters and printed materials. “It was good for them to hear, to know their skills can apply to large projects like this.”

Also discussed was how the new bridge would connect at the landings and its more gradual grade, preparing for rail when it happens. “They talked about suspension and why it’s called a cable-stayed bridge,” he said.

While we’re driving across it within its first two to five years it will be “settling.”

Students exhibited their vocational skills at Spring Open House/SWBOCES

Students exhibited their vocational skills at Spring Open House/SWBOCES

Daring said the school is planning for next year and shared results of its survey conducted last August to garner specific interests from the districts served. Nineteen districts responded.

“We want our services to be in line with what they (districts) provide,” he said. One challenge is coordinating the campus’ schedules with the students’ home (high school) schedules and factoring in travel/traffic time.

Next year SW BOCES plans to change some existing programs, such as, integrating coding and programming into the animation class to offer two courses with separate grades, affording students two ways to receive industry certification.

On tap are STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, science) activities next year and looking to expand class offerings that include internships in specific fields.

New on campus are a student government, and student clubs, the latter meeting the second Thursday of each month, including American Sign Language, LGBTQ, auto body, Spanish, books, fashion and cosmetology, and meditation.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2015

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