Inglemoor Elementary Science Extravaganza

SEAW sent two volunteers to Inglemoor Elementary's Science Extravaganza on March 14. Sarah Schoentrup of Dibble Engineers and Katie Blaesser of Katerra helped elementary students build their own structures out of straws, playdough, paperclips, tape, and rubber bands.

The students had a blast designing their own structures and exploring ways to connect the straws. It was great seeing the students use problem solving and the engineering process!

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ASCE Popsicle Bridge Contest

Pete Opsahl, the SEAW Outreach Committee Chair, attended the ASCE Popsicle Bridge Contest on February 10th. Pete had the opportunity to speak in front of 200-300 high school students, their parents, and their teachers. He introduced the group to SEAW and SEFW and mentioned our scholarship program. He also discussed how he got into engineering and some important information for students to keep in mind fas they move from high school into college. 

 

 Pete Opsahl addresses the crowd at the 2018 ASCE Popsicle Bridge Contest.

Pete Opsahl addresses the crowd at the 2018 ASCE Popsicle Bridge Contest.

WABS After School STEM Academy - Fall 2017

We recently wrapped up our fall unit for the WABS After School STEM Academy. This session, the Outreach Committee fielded three teams to work with middle school students from three different schools. This fall, volunteers and students learned about biomechanical engineering and explored ways to create helmets to protect against brain injuries.

Students created helmets out of household materials such as batting, pipe cleaners, bubble wrap, and foil and tested them on mannequin heads. The student-designed helmet had to prevent a paintball attached to the top of the mannequin's head from breaking after being dropped from a height of 5 feet. To add an additional challenge, all materials were assigned a fictional price, and the students had to create a safe helmet as cheaply as possible. The kids and adults had a lot of fun with this unit and loved the hands-on testing.  

We can't wait for next session where we will get to teach kids about designing an earthquake resistant structure! Learn more about the program here.

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Girls Night Out at the Pacific Science Center

 Structural engineer, Marsha Swatosh, tests straw structures on SEAW's shake table.

Structural engineer, Marsha Swatosh, tests straw structures on SEAW's shake table.

The Pacific Science Center organized a “Girl’s Night Out” event to encourage young girls to pursue a future in engineering. The science center screened the IMAX movie “Dream Big” and then held a Q&A panel featuring four women engineers, one of which was Outreach committee member Laura Lindeman. The event finished off with hands on activities for the girls. At our booth, the kids created buildings out of straws and tape. We tested the structural stability of the buildings with our new shake table which simulates real earthquake ground motions. Some of these structures really blew us away; the future of engineering is in good hands with these girls!

Edmonds School District STEM Expo

Outreach Committee members Pete Opsahl, Tom Corcoran, and Laura Lindeman attended the Edmonds School District STEM Expo to serve as STEM Ambassadors. Over 650 students and their project entries from 3rd to 12th grade participated. STEM Ambassadors critiqued the projects of their assigned student groups. The event provided an opportunity for parents, teachers, and students to learn together for a common purpose.

 SEAW Outreach Committee members, Pete Opsahl and Tom Corcoran, take a quick break for a photo.

SEAW Outreach Committee members, Pete Opsahl and Tom Corcoran, take a quick break for a photo.

 Students explain their science project to Tom.

Students explain their science project to Tom.

Everett Innovation Expo

On June 8, YMG President, Morgan Wiese, and Outreach Committee members, Katie Blaesser and Tom Corcoran, participated in the Everett Innovation Expo at the Xfinity Arena. While students got to showcase science projects on the arena floor below, we stayed on the concourse and talked to students and parents about structural engineering. The students loved modeling bridges on a tablet and watching to see if their designs could support truck loading.

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WABS After School Stem Academy - Spring 2017

 Students use everyday household materials, such as water bottles and rulers, to create trebuchets.

Students use everyday household materials, such as water bottles and rulers, to create trebuchets.

This year the committee teamed up with the Washington Alliance for Better Schools (WABS) providing volunteers for one of their STEM programs, the After-School STEM Academy. The program teams a group of engineering professionals with a teacher and approximately (25) students tackling an actual everyday engineering problem. YMF members, Laura Lindeman and Katie Blaesser lead separate engineering teams for two different schools. For one hour a week over a 6 week period, the 4th and 5th graders and volunteers worked in groups discussing and finding solutions to building catapults and trebuchets (arguably most kid’s dream activity).

The program was a big success and SEAW is looking forward to building their relationship with WABS and growing the after school stem program.

Shoreline STEM Festival

 From left to right, Tom Corcoran, Casey Moore ,and Alex Mischke represented SEAW at the Shoreline STEM Festival and talked with parents and students about structural engineering.

From left to right, Tom Corcoran, Casey Moore ,and Alex Mischke represented SEAW at the Shoreline STEM Festival and talked with parents and students about structural engineering.

The Shoreline STEM Festival is a one day event for the Shoreline community. Students get the opportunity to show off their science fair projects, and exhibitors from all over the community get to introduce students to a variety of STEM fields. You can learn more about the event at http://shorelinestem.org/.

Three SEAW members volunteered to introduce students to structural engineering this year . We can't wait for 2018's event!

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Thanks, Tom!

Tom Corcoran has been working behind the scenes for years to promote structural engineering in the community and has been a huge driver in the Outreach Committee's efforts. This is a very busy time for structural engineers in the Pacific Northwest, and I know it can be hard to slow down and carve out time to give back to the community. However, it makes it all worth it when you get thank you emails like this one:

Tom,

I’d like to thank you, too, for helping to arrange this trip for us! It was more work for you than I hoped it would be! :)

You continue to be a great advocate for MTHS as we work to provide a solid high school STEM education for our students. And I know you’re advocating for STEM education broadly in our community, too. Thank you for all you do. It’s always a pleasure to visit and work with you. I really enjoy it.

Thanks again, Tom!
— Craig DeVine, Mountlake Terrace HS STEM Program Coordinator

Thanks, Tom, for all that you do!

Mountlake Terrace High School Bridge Building Class

  MTHS STEM teacher, Bryan Smelcer, tests a bridge.

MTHS STEM teacher, Bryan Smelcer, tests a bridge.

For the third consecutive year, YMG members Gino Mazzotti and Brent Olson supported the Mountlake Terrace HS Bridge Building class this year. The design challenge was to build the lightest 6 ft long bridge that would support a student. The students used statics and mechanics of materials to design and build their bridges out of 1/2" x 1/2" strips of Hem Fir wood. The challenge was a success! Some of the bridges supported over 500 lb while weighing less than 4 lbs.

We are looking forward to building our relationship with Mountlake Terrace HS and providing guidance with more activities like this.

Family STEAM Night

SEAW and EERI partnered at the 2017 Family STEAM Night at the Future of Flight Aviation Center last night. The first of many STEM Expos this Spring, the event was a huge success with our engineers getting to talk to hundreds of young students and parents about what a structural engineer does. Students also had the opportunity to learn about structural engineering by designing a bridge with a tablet app and by designing a structure out of K'NEX and testing it on a shake table. 

New Robotics STEM Program

 SEAW member, Dan Sloat, helps Mountlake Terrace HS students.

SEAW member, Dan Sloat, helps Mountlake Terrace HS students.

For the third consecutive year, YMG member Dan Sloat mentored the Mountlake Terrace HS student members of the New Robotics STEM program. This year the Mountlake Terrace team finished 7th out of 160 teams in the Pacific Northwest and advanced to the national championships in Houston, Texas where they finished in the top 100 teams out of over 5,000 worldwide. This was by far the most successful year in the team’s 12-year history and a significant improvement for the team, which finished 105th in the region just 2 years ago. Check out the team's website to learn more!