The Engineering Challenges Carnival marked the beginning of Engineers Week (E-Week) was held in the Thwing Atrium last Saturday, Feb. 3. The Carnival integrated elementary school students from the Cleveland community and on-campus organizations for the goal of inspiring and exposing students to engineering careers.
According to the Case Engineering Council (CEC), E-Week is an annual weeklong celebration recognizing contributions of engineers to society. The celebration is annual, organized on a national level by DiscoverE and on a campus level by CEC. Various student organizations hosted activities for local elementary schoolers, ranging from building paper model rockets to mixing homemade slime. The students of Westwood Elementary School took advantage of the slime station.
Prentiss, a third-grade student from Westwood, which is located in Warrensville Heights, enjoyed the festivities. Prestiss said,“Today, we went to make a car move around, and we made some slime and mixed it into different colors.”
Prentiss is part of the Third Grade Scholars program at Westwood, which includes students who excel in math and science classes. Every other week, the students meet for “STEM Friday,” where they learn about age-appropriate STEM applications around the world.
“They do a great job, it’s really amazing,” said Ruth Ray, the Secondary Academic Coordinator of Warrensville Heights School District. “They came to the school very early this morning so they could come out and explore.”
The students also took advantage of the crafts at the Women in Science and Engineering Roundtable (WISER) booth. WISER led the students around through wind-powered STEM cars, to “[teach] the importance of renewable energy in the form of wind power,” explained Lily Harwood, E-Week coordinator of WISER.
She continued, “We’re having them design their own sails, make certain shapes that will allow the cars to move the furthest一promote engineering all over.”
Harwood was a primary organizer of the Carnival and various E-Week events, including the WISER Light Bulb Drop and the E-Week Reception.
“[One of our goals] is empowering women pursuing careers in the STEM field, to always act as mentors and help integrate the entire community of Cleveland and the university in promoting equality in the STEM field,” Harwood said. “ I think one of our club goals is to have good events that people can attend and enjoy; basically be supportive and have each others’ backs all the time.”
The Carnival brought this initiative to community students. All the students interviewed from Westwood answered “math” or “science” as their favorite subjects in school. When asked if they would change their answers if “lunch” and “recess” were options, Prenell, another Westwood student, responded, “I like math better.”