Archive for February, 2014

Family Engineering a Big Hit in Dearborn!

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

The excitement was contagious at Henry Ford Elementary School’s first Family Engineering Night held on Tuesday, February 11, 2014.  Over 200 participants packed the cafeteria to work together on fun, hands-on activities that explored the exciting world of engineering. Family Engineering is a national program that promotes creative problem solving, teamwork, and communication as it increases families’ understanding and appreciation of the role engineering plays in everyday life.  The top four family favorite Opener activities were: Glue is the Clue, Arches, Domino Diving Board and Soundproof packages.

Wcwnr participants also tackled two Engineering Challenge activities. The first challenge had families Mining for Chocolate in two different chocolate chip cookies. As a bonus, they were able to eat anything they extracted.  Families also enjoyed designing and building a pipe cleaner structure in the Team Up challenge.  It was amazing to see children between the ages of 3-11 explaining to their parents the best way to complete the challenges.

Kathleen McCormick, a Science Enrichment teacher at Henry Ford Elementary School and Patricia Hartshorn, a professor in U of M -Dearborn’s Natural Science Department were the event coordinators. Both educators commented on the amazing support the event received from the community and wanted to thank all their community partners:

  • U of M – Dearborn Elementary Education students who ran the Opener Activities
  • Wayne County RESA for providing the Family Engineering Activity Ideas and sample kits
  • Guest Speaker, Fattum Mutahr, an industrial engineer at General Motors and a proud DCMST graduate
  • Lawrence Tech’s Robofest Assistant Coordinator, Kathleen Hadley and her amazing scorpion balloon blaster robot
  • DCMST students Samaa Sobh, Naha Mohamad, Ali Yassine, and Alex Briski for modeling their toothpick towers and inspiring elementary students to design towers of their own at home
  • Last but not least, the wonderful Henry Ford Staff who helped run the Engineering Challenges

A quote from Donna and Hassan Khalil  sums up the event perfectly:  “BEST SCIENCE NIGHT EVER !!!!!”

Guest speaker Fattum Mutahr, an industrial engineer at General Motors

Guest speaker Fattum Mutahr, an industrial engineer at General Motors

Family Engineering Takes Off in Southeast Michigan

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

Wolfe Middle School in Center Line, Michigan, is one of eleven K-8 school districts in Macomb, Wayne, and Oakland counties that received a Family Engineering Program Starter Kit and the Family Engineering Activity & Event Planning Guide book through a Michigan Department of Education Improving Teacher Quality Grant. The grant, titled “Super Science for Special Teachers – Continue Changing the Equation,” was received by Lawrence Technological and Madonna Universities near Detroit. In addition to receiving the Family Engineering Starter Kit, a supplemental kit for each of the participating districts was assembled that included supplies for all of the 21 opener activities and 15 challenge activities that were not included in the starter kit.

Each of the recipient districts must host at least one Family Engineering Night during the grant period. This is a win-win for all involved–the leadership skills of participating teachers are enhanced, and hundreds of parents and students experience a fun and engaging introduction to engineering through hands-on Family Engineering activities. These hands-on experiences just might spark a future engineering career!

To date, Family Engineering Nights have been held at Mount Clemens, Wayne Westland (3), and Center Line. Coming up in Spring 2014–Taylor, Chippewa Valley, Allen Academy in Detroit, Utica and Van Dyke will host a Family Engineering Night also.

Check out this video highlighting the Wolfe Middle School event:  Family Engineering Night

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