STEAMing in Slicer Resource Time
Freshmen students at LPHS battled local engineers in a STEM based activity Tuesday morning.
Equipped with 20 spaghetti noodles, one marshmallow, a yard of tape, and 20 minutes, teams were challenged to see who could build the tallest freestanding tower.
RQAW, local engineering and architecture firm, not only donated the materials needed, but it sent over a team to challenge the students. Ben Sass, Mitchell Goodin, Haley Nowakowski, and Jake Manzo joined engineering teacher Mrs. Eggert and her SRT group to put their abilities on display.
“[We wanted] to facilitate future learning in the STEM field, whether that be engineering, architecture, civil work, and to understand the importance of applying both the logical thinking and the creative prototyping, which is very much what the spaghetti challenge is about,” Sass said.
STEM or STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics) is an educational approach that utilizes hands-on learning, critical thinking, teamwork, and student inquiry. With the need and popularity of STEAM education growing in schools, the SRT leads at LPHS wanted to come up with a way to meld learning and some fun with the available time.
“The SRT leads wanted to try to do something different, and I did this with my students once. With it being a STEM activity, we thought it fit perfectly into our vision and mission. Mr. Presley added in the idea of bringing in community members,” Carolyn McGuire, co-sophomore SRT lead, said.
The winning team, Team Impasta, consisted of four determined freshmen who finished with a tower 46 ¾” tall. Kaitlin Nash, Karlie Nichols, Maya Oswald, and Wesley Owens were able to defend themselves against all other teams, including the RQAW professionals, adding an impressive touch to their already fabulous victory.
“I’ve done it before because my mom is a Physics teacher, but I didn’t expect to win,” Owens said.
The Great Spaghetti challenge has just been one way that our community has stepped in to make sure the LPHS and various other LPCSC schools are supported.
“Inviting in businesses or community partners to work with our students is extremely important. Our students can learn about careers and get a better understanding of real world application through these engagement opportunities. Today, RQAW provided our students with first-hand knowledge on engineering and architecture, and we had a lot of fun in the process,” Matt Presley, LPHS College and Career Coordinator, said.