Buzz Aldrin Hosts Fifth Annual STEAM Career Day
Friday, March 30, 2018
Buzz Aldrin Middle School’s 5th annual STEAM Career Day took place on Fri., March 16. The school hosted a wide variety of professionals from different disciplines from Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math. Buzz Aldrin hosts this annual event to reinforce the need for students to be curious learners, to instill the necessity of being problem solvers regardless of their career choices, and to expose them to a variety of career possibilities through interactive presentations.
“I think of it as a significant event because it opens kids’ eyes to unique career opportunities and life experiences they wouldn’t get to learn about,” said Principal Jill Sack. “I get to see their reactions afterwards and listen to them talk about what they experienced. They love it.”
Building Skyscrapers with Craig Tracy
Students were introduced to the technical challenge that engineers face when building the world’s tallest buildings. After Dr. Tracy reviewed some of the tallest skyscrapers and the materials used to build them, students were challenged to construct the tallest structure that would withstand the effects of wind. A huge fan was used to test the integrity of the students’ work.
Zombie Brains with Kara Mann (Liberty Science Center)
Students were introduced to the anatomy of the brain and the function of certain regions. After which, they were then asked to research information about healthy and zombie brains. Finally, students had make comparisons between healthy brains and first and second-generation zombie virus infected brains to identify the changes in the anatomy which would cause changes in behavior.
Snack Product Development with Gay Kasegrande, Michele Wright, Naveed Shah, Sonia Barnabas, and Bianca Patel (Mondelez International)
Students worked for 90 minutes learning the process of product development for a new snack. Groups of students were defined as they work on a single aspect of the research & development. By going through this process, they better understood just how much is required to develop a new product for the market, requiring sincere teamwork and a variety of skilled individuals to complete the process. Of course, they got to taste their new ideas, too.
The Science of Sound with Julian Keenan (Montclair State University)
This highly performance-based presentation demonstrated just how sound was produced and what makes one sound different from another. Dr. Keenan brought several sound-producing gadgets to illustrate his points as well as played some electric guitar. Joining him was chorus teacher Taylor Mandel who played a bit of trumpet. The duo teamed up to educate the students while entertaining them and engaging some in a competition of who could produce the highest and lowest note and a variety of timbre.
Engineering Bridges with Erik Wolfe and Charles Leary (Cha Consulting)
Following the three Engineering Design Challenges that BAMS held over the past two years, students had another chance to test their ingenuity and knowledge of problem solving. In this case they had to build the strongest bridge using just paper and cups. The presenters gave much credit to the students saying that the ideas and solutions were some that they had never before seen.
Balance, Mobility, and Flexibility with Lauren Zichelli
Goniometers and dynanometers, oh my! Students learned a bit more about the field of physical therapy by testing their bodies to establish a baseline of their performance. These tests are some of those frequently used to determine the progress of a patient; running, bending and squeezing were in order.
The Form and Function of Our Skeletal Anatomy with Keith Metzger
During this presentation students were provided real-life replicas of human bones and asked to make observations about the structure (morphology). They then had to determine/propose their function based on this information. A practical lesson on form and function.