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Lincoln Students Get a Charge out of Raytheon

On February 2 all of Grade 8 participated in an Engineering Workshop at the Portsmouth, RI, Raytheon facility. The intent was to introduce our students to the principles of engineering so that they can appreciate this discipline and have a greater understanding of how math and science work hand in hand.

The students toured the Acoustics Lab, rotating between stations that taught them about pitch and frequency of sound waves, how physical energy can be converted into mechanical energy through transducers, and about how sound travels through water. The next workshop involved electrical circuits. The students built small switches that operated a buzzer. Another workshop focused on constructing a tower from sheets of paper, paper clips and rubber bands that could balance a tennis ball on top. 

The final workshop involved the www.mathmovesu.com software. The students participated in the egg launch activity. They prepared a container for an egg that was catapulted and hopefully survived the launch. 50% of the groups were successful at this task.
Each workshop demonstrated the principles of engineering: having a list of requirements, making a plan of design and gathering the materials, implementing the design, testing it, and repeating the process as needed until all of the requirements were met (while staying within budget!).

The day began at 9:00 a.m. and ended at 2:00 p.m. throughout the program our students were actively engaged. They volunteered easily, asked questions and invested themselves in every task. The engineers directing the activities were primarily young women engineers. During lunchtime three of these women shared with the girls why they studied engineering and what they love most about their jobs. They also discussed the course work they took both in high school and in college. Our students had several questions. The Raytheon engineers were very impressed with how interactive they were throughout the day.

Dr. Kozel  and  Dr. Hibbitt (both science teachers), Ann Palms (art teacher), Colleen Sweeney and Cathy DiChiaro (both math teachers) accompanied the students on this trip. Lincoln School looks forward to our continued collaboration with the Raytheon Company. A summer workshop for upper school students is in the planning stage.

The realization of the importance of STEM courses is a priority in the upper school curriculum. A few of our 8th graders ended the day saying that they might very well like to become engineers! They all enjoyed their day.

© 2014 Lincoln School | 301 Butler Avenue | Providence, RI 02906 | Ph: (401) 331 9696 | Fax: (401) 751 6670 
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