It's all elementary: Saint Martin's engineering professors building bridges with local fifth-graders
Jan. 13, 2005
Lacey, Wash. - Vertical and lateral loads? Beam-column
design? In an effort to help children develop creativity and
problem-solving skills in some new areas, Saint Martin’s College
engineering faculty members are finding a fun approach for sharing their
scientific expertise with a group of 5th graders Lacey’s Meadows
Elementary School this month.
The professors will be visiting the students of Mary
Holmberg in the coming week to talk about bridge-building and design.
Until Jan. 27, they will continue to visit the school to help Holmberg’s
students design their own bridges.
On Jan. 27, the students - about 30 in number - will
come to Saint Martin’s to test their bridges at a School of Engineering
lab. The tests will run from 3:45 to 4:45 p.m. at Saint Martin’s Cebula
Hall, 5300 Pacific Ave. SE.
The project - led by engineering faculty members Chun
Seong, Pius Igharo and Anthony de Sam Lazaro - will give students an
opportunity to see the world in new ways, said de Sam Lazaro, Saint
Martin’s dean of engineering.
”The object of the exercise is to get the creative
juices of the children flowing within the constraints of physical and
mathematical limits,” he said. “If you tell a child to draw something,
he or she will generally give you a somewhat disproportionate drawing
depending on how they perceive the object. For example, a flower will be
much larger than its leaves. With the creativity limited to physics and
math, we believe they will start thinking differently.”
Saint Martin’s offers undergraduate programs in
mechanical engineering and civil engineering, as well as master’s-level
programs in civil engineering and engineering management. While the
college’s School of Engineering, with the division of science and
mathematics, operates an annual summer camp to expose high school
students to potential careers in the sciences through hands-on projects,
these are among the youngest students they have worked with.
Anthony de Sam Lazaro
Dean, School of Engineering
Office of Communication