News

April 6, 2009

Students Teach Fourth Graders the Basics of Engineering

Members of Lafayette’s Society of Women Engineers worked with students at Forks Elementary School in Easton

Students in Lafayette’s chapter of Society of Women Engineers (SWE) recently taught the concepts of velocity, acceleration, and force to students at Forks Elementary School in Easton.
During a three-day workshop, 17 Lafayette students worked with five sections of fourth graders, who learned about Newton’s Second Law, the parts of a car, and the engineering design process by building, testing, and racing balloon-powered cars.

According to SWE president Christina Mack ’09 (Lafayette Hill, Pa.), who is majoring in mechanical engineering, the main goal of the program was to show young girls that females can succeed in the science and engineering fields, and that they do not need to follow stereotypical gender roles.

“Lafayette and the engineering department have taught us so much, and this was a great opportunity for us to give back,” says Mack. “The children were so energetic and excited to learn. Their questions and ideas for how to improve the cars showed that they really understood the concepts. Not only did this program teach the children about science, but it also let us act as role models.”

The students who volunteered during the three-day program were Amy Head ’10 (Evanston, Ill.), Jen Kesilman ’10 (North Wales, Pa.), and Carolyn Stolfi ’09 (Chatham, N.J.), who are majoring in mechanical engineering; Christie Atkinson ’09 (Aston, Pa.), Emily Mallory ’09 (Camarillo, Calif.), and Debra Shlossman ’10 (Wilmington, Del.), who are majoring in chemical engineering; Emily Bernzott ’10 (Babylon, N.Y.), Daniella Colon ’10 (Bronx, N.Y.), Beth Anne Lutes ’10 (Doylestown, Pa.), Cara Lyons ’11 (New Holland, Pa.), and Laura Werkheiser ’09 (Easton, Pa.), who are majoring in civil engineering; Alyssa Batula ’09 (Cleona, Pa.), who is majoring in electrical and computer engineering; and Melissa Foley ’12 (Lebanon, N.J.), Hannah Frank ’12 (Lebanon, Conn.), Bridget Greeley ’12 (Mountainside, N.J.), and Katherine Murphy ’12 (Syosset, N.Y.).

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