N.C. State outreach program teaches true nature of engineering
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RALEIGH--When you hear the term engineering., you may think of a branch of science too complicated to grasp.
But there's an outreach program at N.C. State University that aims to teach everyone in North Carolina the true nature of the field and how it impacts everyday life.
York Elementary students are posed with a problem.
Armed with scissors tape and tubes, the third graders must use an arsenal of materials to build a helmet that will protect an egg from falling objects.
“We had a rubber band so the egg would stay on and we have some tape that connects the balloon to the styrofoam,” said student Sarah Kuller.
Whether they realize it or not, they are learning about engineering.
“Kids are following an engineering design process and one of the neatest things about the kids and what they are learning is that engineering design process does not lead to simply one answer it,” said Laura Bottomley, Director of The Engineering Place.
The Engineering Place is an engineering outreach program based at N.C. State University.
Outreach ambassadors work to educate everyone in N.C. with a focus on elementary through high school students.
The vision is to teach the true nature of engineering and its impact on every day life.
“The goal of incorporating engineering into STEM in K-12 is not to teach students fluid dynamics, it is to teach them how to think it is to teach them how to solve problems,” said Bottomley.
As they work to solve the problem at hand, students are putting their eggs in one basket so to speak are learning another life lesson.
“One of the things that we are able to do with engineering with the kids is to teach that failure is an accepted normal thing, in fact as an engineer you look forward to failure because you learn so much from it. It's not a message they get in school all the time,” said Bottomley.
A hands-on approach to developing “eggcellent” problem solving skills.