Archive for November, 2014

Family Engineering Workshop Leads to Multiple Events in Washington State

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014

Earlier this year, the Foundation for Family Science & Engineering provided a professional development workshop for educators, college students, and community partners in the Tri-Cities area of Washington state. So far, that one, hands-on workshop, which trained 45 volunteers on the Family Engineering program, has led to multiple workshops and events designed to expose more children and families to the hands-on fun of science and engineering exploration, strengthen STEM skills, and inspire more students to pursue STEM-related careers.

The original workshop was sponsored by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). PNNL is a co-founder of the Mid-Columbia STEM Education Collaboratory, which sponsored the activities highlighted below.

Family Engineering Event, May 2014:  After warming up with Opener activities, such as “Tumbling Towers” and “Learning From Failure,” 95 local family members tested their engineering skills to build a moveable “Artistic Robot” using a plastic cup, tongue depressors, markers, masking tape, a rubber eraser, and a motor.

1.MayRobot 2.MayRobots

Professional Development Workshop, Summer 2014:  More than 20 middle school teachers from Ochoa Middle School attended a half-day seminar, “Exploring the STEM Toolbox: Family Engineering” where presenters from PNNL, assisted by students and alumni from Delta High School, helped the teachers explore engineering activities and connections to Next Generation Science Standards.



Summer STEM Enrichment for Local Students:  Yakima Valley/Tri-Cities MESA and the Mid-Columbia STEM Education Colalboratory teamed up to provide a summer STEM event for K-12 boys and local Girl Scouts in Pasco, WA which included Family Engineering Openers and an Engineering Challenge activity. Sponsors reported that the students demonstrated perserverance through the engineering design process, and enjoyed working together to master each challenge.

Family Engineering Event, August 2014:  PNNL staff members and their children attended  a summer STEM event focused on “Simple Machines and Paper Engineering.”  The day’s core activity was Family Engineering’s “Create a Critter,” which was perfectly suited for the theme of the day.