Junior high school engineering students have an early start on problem solving and technology. Students at Beebe Junior High School have had their curiosity rewarded by having engineering classes offered, so that problem solving and design fit right into their classes.
For example, one of the problems that intrigued the students was determining the internal temperature of a Hot Pocket pastry. Sometimes the outside is fine, but the inside is freezing or scalding. Students wondered if it were possible to know the temperature just right before biting into the snack. They built a robot to determine the internal temperature of Hot Pockets in their engineering class.
“We wanted to introduce it to kids this age before they head over to the ninth, 10th, 11th and 12th grades,” said teacher Tate Rector. “At the same time, Harding University’s STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) program was doing a two-week class in the summer about engineering. It worked out great. I did the two weeks and learned a lot about the curriculum and how they incorporate robots. We brought that back here to start the class.”