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Mid-Pacific students celebrate National Engineers Week with hands-on learning

By Scot Allen

This February, Mid-Pacific once again participated in National Engineers Week, a week of learning, developed by the National Society of Professional Engineers, that celebrates STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) and engages the next generation of innovators.

“This is our second year celebrating and bringing awareness to Engineer’s Week and what engineers do for us as a civilization,” said Director of Educational Technology Brian Grantham. “It was so heartwarming watching our students and teachers work through the pandemic protocols to deliver high-quality hands-on learning opportunities for our students.”

At Mid-Pacific, Engineers Week is a schoolwide celebration of learning where elementary and middle school students work with faculty and high school students, who assist and co-construct projects alongside younger students. Understanding technology plays a huge role in the school’s mission to educate students for the jobs of the future.

During National Engineers Week at Mid-Pacific, the students designed, built, and tested structures, robots, and vehicles.

  • Kindergarten students constructed marshmallow towers to further their understanding of how basic shapes allow for more complex shapes.
  • First and second graders created paper bridges.
  • Third and fourth graders designed Bristle Bots — robots made from the head of a toothbrush.
  • Fifth graders constructed paper rockets.
  • Middle school students designed aluminum foil boats and tested their water-worthiness by incrementally adding weight inside the boats.

To wrap up Engineers Week, the middle school was treated to a guest speaker, a Navy ship designer and a salvage diver, who investigates naval shipwrecks and accidents.

According to Grantham, Mid-Pacific high school students took time out from their classes to research civil, mechanical, and electrical engineering. The high school students then prepared their lesson scripts and led Zoom breakout rooms with three to four elementary students.

“I was so impressed with how our high school students in Mrs. Roley’s integrated science class and Mr. Bailey’s engineering classes worked with and related to the elementary students and guided them through their hands-on building projects,” Grantham said.

This exciting week of Owl learning was featured on Hawaii News Now, KITV and KHON2 News.