It was a day of slime, slingshots, electric play-dough and so much more. More than 120 students gathered in the University of Connecticut's Laurel Hall on a summer Saturday to participate in S.T.E.M. activities that focused on the chemical, materials, aerospace, civil, environmental and mechanical technology fields. The field day event was the idea of Project STEM, a group of Pratt & Whitney employees who generate interest in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math by volunteering at middle and high schools in the greater Hartford area.
"Project STEM's first field day was a huge success with student attendance from 60 different schools and over 29 towns across Connecticut," said P&W Project STEM President Lauren Brumbaugh. "We strive to show students that S.T.E.M. concepts are not only important, but that they can also be fun, with the goal that they carry this enthusiasm into their high school years."
With 12 hands-on activities, children from ages 7 to 14 learned about the science behind topics such as bridges, jet propulsion and hovercraft technology. Fluid dynamics was introduced with the ever popular Oobleck, a substance that manages to have properties of both a solid and a liquid.
"We decided on a range of activities covering many different fields of engineering," said Maranda Wong, Project STEM's event coordinator and the organizer of the field day. "As a team, we helped the students get the science and the thinking behind the project."
More than 70 dedicated Pratt & Whitney STEM employees, including members of the Society of Women Engineers, Engineers Without Borders and the Pratt & Whitney Newcomers Club, took part in the exciting expansion of Project STEM's reach.
"With plans for continued event expansion, more volunteers are welcome," Brumbaugh said. "We look forward to the many opportunities we have to impact students in the future and will continue to provide new and engaging activities to the students of Connecticut."