Introducing Middle School Students to EngineeringPosted on Wednesday, June 24th, 2015 by Kristen Leathers-Gratton
In Community, Culture, Helping Out, tagged in Tags: community, kearney, missouri, outreach, pltw, stem, student
Jami Phipps, an algebra teacher at Kearney Junior High School, focuses on building interest in engineering among female middle school students. She works closely with Kearney High School’s well-established Project Lead the Way (PLTW) program, which offers a variety of courses designed to introduce students to the scope, rigor, and discipline of engineering.
To connect students with women in engineering professions, Jami organized a meet and greet that was structured a lot like speed-dating. It was held during the students’ seminar period and popcorn was served. The guest speakers included four women who hold careers in engineering, along with two of the PLTW teachers.
As a participant, I was stationed at a table with rotating groups of 8-10 girls. Each sat with us for about 10 minutes and then, would move on to the next station. During our time together, we told them about our careers and the things we do. Then, we opened up the floor for questions. Some already knew a great deal about engineering, including which field they wanted to study. Others had no idea, but were looking for more information. The students asked a number of great questions, and overall, it was a fun experience.