THE BOULDER BEAT “Bridge Building Contest for Engineering Week”
Marshmallows and toothpicks taught Boulder Oaks Elementary students a lesson in engineering last week as engineers from UTC Aerospace System’s Aerostructures business came to celebrate Engineering Week with the children and serve as judges for the school-wide bridge building contest. The annual Boulder Oaks Elementary Engineering Week is part of the school’s STEAM program emphasizing science, technology, engineering, arts & math.
The visiting engineers shared information about weight-bearing shapes, bridge-building strategies and architectural theories. Applying their newly acquired knowledge, teams of students representing all grade levels used 15 marshmallows and 20 toothpicks to plan and construct a bridge that, when suspended between two books, could hold the weight of a whiteboard eraser.
Representing Mrs. Newcomb’s 5th grade class, Kole Brown, Cameron Ewert and Reid Stammerjohn won the team bridge-building competition with their marshmallow and toothpick span.
One of the judges and the Aerostructures focal for the activity, Kate Grabosky commented, “Aerostructures is enthusiastic about Boulder Oaks STEAM activities. It is our desire to reach out into the community and help plant the seeds to grow the next generation of engineers. We value passing on our knowledge to get kids excited about engineering. The kids did a great job tying in what they learned in class to the bridge building activity and they impressed us with their designs and determination!”
Aerostructures is a business unit of UTC Aerospace Systems. Formerly known as Goodrich, it is now part of United Technologies, an organization with key positions on a wide range of aircraft flying today and substantial content on various unmanned aerial vehicles, satellites and ground and naval vehicles. Operating world wide, UTC Aerospace Systems has a local business unit in Chula Vista. The company believes in enhancing the quality of life in the communities where it operates. One of the ways they support their communities is through programs targeting education.
Boulder Oaks Elementary welcomes this partnership with UTC Aerospace Systems to enhance learning and encourage students to discover real-life applications. Within the Alpine Union School District, Boulder Oaks Elementary is located at 2320 Tavern Road in Alpine and serves students in the first through fifth grades.