Rock Falls Middle School 7th graders spent the day at Morrison Tech building paper towers, operating robots and prototyping whistles and screwdrivers. Those were just a few of the activities taking place at Morrison Tech’s 7th Grade Applied Science and Engineering Day. In 2014 the college introduced this event to inspire young students to follow academic and career paths in STEM – science, technology, engineering and math.
Morrison Tech faculty members and students opened their classrooms and labs to demonstrate different activities that engineering technologists perform. The students engaged in various hands-on activities including: principles of building design, design process/prototype, micro controller programing, robotics, manufacturing activities, construction materials and engineering a bridge design.
The 7th Graders learn in combined groups how engineering technicians help society and what role they play in the engineering field. Alongside the hands-on activities the students apply engineering skills such as: collaboration, problem solving, creativity and critical thinking skills.
The event kicks off with a welcome and an introduction to the college. Following the introduction the students had four morning breakout sessions. After a break for lunch the students finished up with two more activities. The day concluded with a wrap up from a faculty member.
As a premier engineering technology college, Morrison Tech is dedicated to STEM outreach for students. “Our goal is to get them excited,“ Chris Scott, President, said “when you get them to do that, it’s amazing.”
A STEM education offers a hands on curriculum that focuses on a student-centered learning environment. Students begin to problem solve real life issues. In the 21st century, scientific and technological innovations have become increasingly important. Student must begin to develop their capabilities in STEM to succeed in the new information based and highly technological society. In order to compete in a global economy STEM education must be a national priority. Introducing a STEM education is important, especially in the lower grades levels of education, ideally hoping to spark an interest in pursuing a STEM career. Activities, such as the ones held at Morrison Tech help pull together the ideas presented in middle schools. Showing students how these skills benefit our society and even our world as a whole.