Family Engineering Night at Sequoyah School
December 12th, 2012
Neighbors peeking out their windows towards nearby Sequoyah School probably did a double-take at the hundreds of students shuffling in and out with bright yellow hard hats on. The hats can be explained, on this particular occasion, at least: the kids at the local K-5 school were channeling their inner-engineer. After all, it was CURENT’s Family Engineering Night.
Students and their families explored nine different exhibits, each with a hands-on engineering project. Participants were able to build homemade prosthetic hands, design towers out of paper towel rolls, activate solar-powered cars, and take part in other challenges that included engineering communications and environmental engineering. Also, much to the excitement of the athletically inclined students at the event, a student robotics team brought an interactive basketball-throwing robot from nearby Farragut High School. Students earned a sticker for completing each activity, and they turned their checklist in at the end of the night to receive the aforementioned hard hats.
Over 200 people took part in Family Engineering Night, which was designed to bring households together to explore some basic engineering concepts in an effort to promote science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. Each activity was selected to ensure that it meets Knox County Schools’ Grade Level Expectations in K-5 science curriculum.
“I’m just so thankful to have been part of this,” said Knox County K-12 Science Instructional Coach Andrea Allen. “I am so proud of an amazing partnership with CURENT.”
The event was a collaboration between Knox County Schools; Sequoyah School; and the Center for Ultra-wide-area Resilient Electrical Energy Transmission Networks (CURENT), the University of Tennessee’s Engineering Research Center. It was organized by Allen; Principal Alisha Hinton and Science Lab Instructor Erin McCollum from Sequoyah School; and Education Co-Director Dr. Chien-fei Chen and Adam Hardebeck from CURENT.