There are so many schools working to make the engineering piece of STEM learning fun. Centaurus High School freshmen had a great time in the engineering lab at the University of Colorado.

The Engineering Piece of STEM LearningThey designed acrylic towers and then watched machines crush them. Sounds like a child’s dream right?

The students, who are in an introduction to engineering class, were tasked with designing a tower that was both as light and as strong as possible.

The team in each class with the tower that could withstand the most weight earned the best grade.

“It was a little challenging,” said freshman Mackenzie Albrecht. “We worked really hard.”

Students also made a circuit using LED lights and copper strips with the help of employees from SparkFun and took a tour of both the Integrated Teaching and Learning lab and the CU campus.

“We want to get the kids up to CU to show them what’s going on and get them excited about engineering,” said Centaurus engineering teacher Nick Cady.

STEM Concepts

Along with the visit to CU, the Centaurus students also get help during class from CU engineering graduate students through the TEAMS Program — a partnership between CU and the Boulder Valley and St. Vrain Valley school districts.

“It’s awesome getting them up here and using all our equipment,” said Olivia Carnes, a CU mechanical engineering graduate student who works with Centaurus students twice a week.

She said the tower project is a good way to spark interest in engineering.

“Engineering isn’t just sitting around solving equations all day,” she said. “It’s designing and creating.”

Students designed the towers, which couldn’t be more than 10 inches tall, using a 3D modeling computer program that also allowed them to run stress tests.

Continue reading Centaurus engineering students get smashing support at CU-Boulder.

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The Engineering Piece of STEM Learning