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MS engineering students tour RPI labs

Filed in BCMS by on October 9, 2018

students observing machinery

On Wednesday, Oct. 3, two classes of eighth-grade advanced engineering students (enrolled in the school’s Introduction to Engineering & Design course) went on a field trip to RPI. They attended a STEM Day hosted by RPI Engineering Ambassadors, a group of RPI students whose goal is to inspire middle and high school students. 

BCMS students participated in activities such as experimenting with metal corrosion and a hands-on activity concerning structural stability. They also heard some terrific presentations from the RPI students. Their tour of some of the engineering labs took the middle school students into an enormous centrifuge, a lab with a large water flume, an earthquake shake table and a lab for testing concrete strength. View photo album on the district’s Facebook page.

Our students learned a lot during their time at RPI and here’s what a few of them had to say:

“One thing I learned on the trip to RPI’s STEM Day was the different types design failures due to nature, and how important it is to try and prepare and make the design so the least amount of damage is done,” said Ella.

“I liked the earthquake-shake table because it was so cool to really feel what was happening underground at that moment,” said Mirella

Chloe said: “I like that we had a fun guide. He was energetic and happy about what he does. It made the experience fun because he was happy.”

“One thing that I learned on my trip to RPI’s STEM Day was that bridges are not always completely stable. One of the students told us that 1 in 9 bridges are not meeting all of the requirements of a completely stable bridge. That was fascinating to me because I never really thought about bridges,” said Thomas.

Leah said: “I learned a lot at RPI, but my favorite part was probably when we learned about the centrifuge.  When we walked in, I didn’t even know something like that existed!  Now I find it really interesting.  I think it is so cool that it can test so many different factors at once, all while people are watching and controlling and monitoring it.”

Thank you to the RPI Engineering Ambassadors for showing our students what STEM looks like in college and career.

What is Introduction to Engineering & Design?

Introduction to Engineering & Design (IED) is the foundation technology course for the Project Lead the Way (PLTW) program in which students learn basic CAD/mechanical drawing techniques. Project Lead the Way is a dynamic national partnership among secondary schools, colleges, universities and engineering industries whose purpose is to increase the quality of graduating high school seniors who plan to pursue a degree in the many fields of engineering and related fields.

IED students create color drawings in the following technical areas: one-view drawings, geometric construction problems, dimensioning, three-view drawings, sectional and auxiliary views of mechanical parts and full 3-dimensional drawings of mechanical parts.