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Intermediate students embrace engineering

Tea Area students engaged themselves in engineering Nov. 24 and Dec. 22.

Tea Area curriculum director Tonia Warzecha said fourth and sixth grade students had their STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) day Nov. 24, while fifth-graders had theirs Dec. 22. This is the third year the district has held a STEM day, and this year they will have a STEM day each semester.

The sixth-graders’ challenge was to design and build a bridge that would span a gap of 33 inches and be able to pass a load of 8 pounds, which was the equivalent of two science books. Warzecha said they had to work in groups of seven to research, experiment, create a design, create a model and come up with a presentation.

Warzecha said the students were responsible for bringing their own supplies to make their bridges.

“One of the groups that I saw, they had popsicle sticks and yarn and they were weaving the yarn through popsicle sticks to create an old-fashioned bridge,” she said. “Really the designs that they had were phenomenal.”

Each member of the group was responsible for a different part of the project. In their presentation to the judges – a couple of parent volunteers and a couple of community members – they had to demonstrate their model, explain their design and why they chose it. Plus, they needed to create an advertisement to promote their bridge design.

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