STEM Afterschool Program – Winter 2021

STEM Afterschool Program – Winter 2021

Last Thursday we wrapped up this semester’s STEM Afterschool Program, which ran for 8 weeks from January 28th to March 25th on Thursdays from 3-4pm and had a total participation of 56 students! This semester’s program was focused on “Careers in Engineering:” students learned about a variety of engineering disciplines, with each week dedicated to a different discipline. Students learned a little about each discipline, took part in a related hands-on activity, and were given opportunities to learn more about them at home. Below you will find an overview of our completed schedule:

  • Week 1 (Jan 28): History of Engineering and Intro to EDP:
    Students learned about the history of engineering (looking at Engineering an Empire) and were introduced to the engineering design process, which they then used to design and build a tower out of paper to be as tall as possible (a sneak peak of civil engineering).
  • Week 2 (Feb 4): Bioengineering:
    Students learned about the basics of bioengineering through a discussion of Covid-1 and biomanufacturing of masks. First-year engineering Professor Jen Love then presented about her work as a shoe designer and her path to engineering. Students then had a chance to design their own shoes, worrying about comfort, ergonomics, and aesthetics whilst designing different shoes for different purposes.
  • Week 3 (Feb 11): Mechanical/Aerospace Engineering:
    Students learned about both mechanical and aerospace engineering (which is sometimes it’s own degree and sometimes a subset of mechanical and/or electrical engineering). Students learned about the dynamics of flight (particularly center of gravity and center of pressure) and designed and built Straw Rockets to shoot as far as possible. For homework, students were asked to watch the Mars Perseverance rover landing.
  • Week 4 (Feb 25): Civil Engineering:
    Students virtually visited Northeastern’s Earthquake lab with PhD student Ugurcan: Introduction to EQL | EQL Structure Testing.
  • Week 5 (Mar 4): Environmental Engineering:
    Students met real-world environmental engineer Colin Bergmann, an NU alumni and former Center for STEM Education student staff! Colin taught the students about environmental engineering and helped the students design and build their own stormwater treatment systems.
  • Week 6 (Mar 11): Chemical Engineering:
    This week, Northeastern’s chapter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) taught about chemical engineering and made DIY (do it yourself) Lava Lamps with the students.
  • Week 7 (Mar 18): Computer Engineering/Science:
    During the second to last week, computer science student and STEMout member Karen taught the students about computer engineering and computer science and did a quick intro to computer programming in Python (the programming language, not the snake) using CodeCombat.
  • Week 8 (Mar 25): Industrial Engineering:
    In our final week we looked at industrial engineering, one of the disciplines of engineering often overlooked. Industrial engineers are focused entirely on optimizing processes and products, and today students designed Desk Organizers using LEGO and other materials. In addition, we wrapped up by talking about what we learned during the program as well as future opportunities in STEM this semester/summer.

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