Field Trip – Gardner Pilot Academy

On March 18th, 7th grade students from the Gardner Pilot Academy came to learn about engineering, the engineering design process, and different career paths engineers can follow. The morning session was lead our work study Emily Chernich, who taught the students about what engineering is and the steps engineers follow to design a product. Nick, with the assistance of the student volunteers, discussed the various disciplines of engineering and their career options. The students then designed, built, tested, and improved towers made of just index cards (no scissors or tape). In the afternoon, three members of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) lead a session on chemical engineering. Students learned about pharmaceuticals, the digestive system, and about pill coatings. Then, they did an activity protecting a pill; using oil, sugar, flour, and corn starch as the coating materials, a skittle to represent the pill, and sprite to represent the stomach acid. Te goal was to get the pill to release it’s content as close to ten minutes as possible, in this case having the skittle color the water. Most groups’ coatings were much to think, but two groups managed to release their color right around the 10 minute mark.

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