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Engineering students to conduct STEM Academy in Piqua

On Oct.13, 34 students from ONU will conduct a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Academy for the entire student body of Washington Intermediate School in Piqua. 

After an opening assembly with an address from Assistant Dean of the College of Engineering Tom Zechman, the school’s fourth, fifth and sixth grade students will take part in five mini-workshops.  Each grade-specific workshop is 30 minutes long and will be conducted by two or three Ohio Northern students. 

Fourth graders will design, build and test paper airplanes; explore the similarities between no-bake cookies and asphalt; study buoyancy by building boats out of aluminum foil; concoct a new building material called gloop; and hit a lunar target from a zip-line.

Fifth graders will build bridge trusses from spaghetti; build a tower from straws and paperclips and then test for strength by simulating an earthquake on a vibration table; contain then clean up an oil spill; conduct a project management exercise with gum drops and tooth picks; and the lunar drop.

Sixth graders will do the lunar drop and the oil spill; build solar water heaters and test the insolation value of different filter media; build a Mars Rover from Legos; and build a robot arm from cardboard.

The college students conducting the workshops range from freshmen to seniors, representing each of the different engineering disciplines and also environmental science.  The entire project was the brainchild of sixth-grade math teacher Sarah Jane Magoteaux who received a grant from the Air Force Association Educator Grant to underwrite the cost of the materials.