Grant Spotlight – Family Engineering Nights
Family Engineering Nights
GRANT AUTHOR, SCHOOL, IMPACT & FUNDING
Kara Bonin – Merrillville Intermediate School – up to 120 people at each of three events – $895.00
Round 32 for Spring 2018; implemented in Fall 2018
We will host a Family Engineering Night each trimester. Parents and students will be invited in to participate together in a variety of STEM activities. The purpose is to introduce our parents to the engineering process and the new Makerspace at our school.
Activities will include: Arches, Boxing Beans, Glue is the Clue, Inspired by Nature, Let’s Communicate, Make It Loud, Shifting Shapes, Who Engineered It, Domino Diving Board, Happy Feet, Solid Ground, Assembly Line, Launcher, Stop and Think, Team UP.
Students and families will learn the engineering process and be encouraged to participate in our Time to Invent Club as well as seeking interest in future STEM professions. This will also support our three STEM projects that we are incorporating throughout the school year. Students and families will learn collaboration, thinking, problem solving, and simply a great way to have fun as a family.
We have held two Family Engineering Nights. Approximately 100 families attended and participated in a variety of STEM activities. The purpose of the program is to introduce our parents to the engineering process and the new Makerspace Room at MIS. Students and families learn the engineering process, be encouraged to participate in our Time to Invent Club, and seek interest in future STEM professions.
Families worked together in the Launch activity, designing a catapult with only a spoon, rubber bands, and popsicle sticks. The Tower Activity challenged them to build the tallest free-standing tower with only pipe cleaners. Throughout the challenge, different parameters were put into place such as no talking with team, one hand only for each team member, etc. The final activity was the assembly line, where the teams had to create the most efficient and effective way to build something. Students and families used collaboration, thinking skills, and problem solving. Everyone enjoyed themselves, and this was a wonderful and fun family learning experience for all.
Grant Spotlight Archives
With the “Simulating the Industrial Revolution with Tinker Toys” project, Pierce Middle school student collaborative groups had the opportunity to draw their own conclusions about the Industrial Revolution using interchangeable Tinker Toy parts.
With the “Out in the Garden” project, MIS students will have the opportunity of an outdoor learning component for their Math and Science classes where they can apply the skills that they learned in the classroom to the gardens.
Using “Crazy Traits” kits, purchased via a Merrillville Education Foundation grant, students developed a model for how probability influences genetic variation. They discovered how genetically diverse the population can be even with just 14 traits.