STEM and ASHRAE K-12 Visits
This year I am making a push to get more ASHRAE members into K-12 classrooms. Having a well educated and innovative Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) workforce is critical to the economic security and prosperity of the United States and more specifically our industry. Having a solid STEM education will also provide our children with a strong foundation that gives them many more opportunities throughout their lives.
Will you take the challenge and help encourage the next generation of engineers?
What I am asking you to do?
I would like to see EVERY member who has a child in K-12 schedule a classroom visit over the next year.
Where can you get help?
There is a lot of information and ideas concerning K-12 visits on the Studentzone section of the ASHRAE website. Go to http://www.ashrae.org/studentzone/k-12-activities for more information or contact me via email at PriceAndrew@nullStanleyGroup.com
What is the payoff for your chapter?
Region VI K-12 visit competition: I am establishing a new traveling trophy as part of a friendly competition between chapters. The chapter who reports the most K-12 visits will be awarded a K-12 traveling trophy at next year’s CRC in Minneapolis, MN. Please schedule your visits because we don’t want the Iowa chapter to win this trophy too!
So, contact your children’s teachers, schedule your K-12 visits, practice your presentation, have fun in the classroom, go back to work energized, report your visit to your Chapter’s Student Activities Chair, and report chapter totals on a quarterly basis.
P.S. If you want to know why I enjoy making K-12 visits, read the reprint of the article from the April 2011 ASHRAE Insights below.
Kids’ Wit Challenges Engineer
While promoting ASHRAE’s K-12 resources, Andrew Price, of the Mississippi Valley Chapter, found out first hand that kids really do say the darnedest things.
On a recent visit to a second grade class at Mulberry Elementary School in Muscatine, Iowa, students demonstrated a voracious appetite for answers, though their questions were not necessarily engineering-related.
“Do you know ‘Brent’?” one student asked.
“I know lots of Brents,” Price said.
“Awesome,” was the only response.
Price tries to visit classrooms two to three times a year, and he strongly encourages members with grade-school children to contact their teachers through email to schedule similar visits. He became interested in working with students when his wife and he judged a school science fair.
“If we don’t introduce science, technology, engineering and math early to school children in the United States, we won’t have the next generation of engineers,” Price said. “I guess I just feel it is part of my job as an engineer to find people who are qualified to eventually replace me.”
On the same visit, while working on an experiment to propel “rockets,” which consisted of balloons taped to a straw strung on fishing wire, some of the student’s questions touched on the, shall we say, darker reality of life.
“If the rocket broke while you were on the moon, would you die?”
“I’m sure NASA would send another rocket to try and save you,” Price assured the student.
“If the second rocket also broke, would you die?”
“Yes,” Price replied truthfully.
Price claims the energy and excitement of the students is what brings him back to the classroom time and time again.
“Whether we are discussing the scientific method, or how engineers solve problems or going off on tangents that I never imagined – ‘If you were in a black hole would you die?’ – I have a great time,” Price said. “I leave the visit ‘recharged’ and go back to work enjoying the wonder of what we do in engineering.”
To find out more about how you can become involved in classroom visits, and help to encourage an interest in engineering in young students, visit www.ashrae.org/ashraek12.