Usually when people speak about S.T.E.M, the main focus is engineering. This isn’t a big problem, but what about to other letters of the acronym? Growing up with a love for computers, my main start was in math. Math is a topic where some people hate it, or some people love it; no in-between. What if there was a way we could make math cool when dealing with S.T.E.M? Math is used in so many different areas of life that we actually need it more than we think, but where does the relaxation come in at?

Once students have learned the basics of math, do they think there is no other need for the topic besides the basics? With computer science being a growing field math is definitely a necessity beyond the basics of multiplication, division, addition, and subtraction. Should there be more engineers and physicists coming to give back to students? When we compare the growth of engineering in the U.S. to the growth of China we are being beat out by a land slide. Maybe our education system is flawed, considering China is number one in almost all of the educational topics.

We have to focus on our local problems before we are able to worry about the bigger ones. At least that was the words of our S.T.E.M engineer Mr. Ernest. When Ernest came to talk to the boys, he focused on his field of major which is engineering; civil engineering to be exact. His main work of study in building bridges for certain cities and clients. The students were fascinated by his engineering reference to the everyday stuff that they use. He even took it above and beyond and referenced the 2016 Bugatti Chiron v12 engine.

Although the students didn’t know what a patent was, they soon realized how important it was in the field of engineering if you want to protect your ideas. The boys were prompted to do a bridge building activity in couples using certain designs that Ernest references to. The task lasted about thirty minutes, and the bridge had to meet certain height clearances in order to pass the test. Also, the bridge had to be able to hold and pass through two toy cars. All of the couples had good ideas, and the couple that won had the best original idea according to Mr. Ernest. Activities like these are great for students, allowing them to show their creative side and learn while doing so.

Written By: Nigel Ray

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