A Mobile District engineer, biologist and geologist STEM it up at Indian Springs Elementary School in Eight Mile, Ala. on March 18, 2014.
James Hathorn, an engineering division section chief welcomed the more than one hundred students to the world of engineering by testing their ability to problem solve with questions; sometime using as few as one word.
The student hung on to Hathorn’s every word. As Hathorn spoke with sheer excitement about engineering and its rewarding benefits to society, students hands sky rocketed up before questions were asked hoping to be selected to answer every problem.
Some students got a chance to practice team building skills by working on the District’s Mississippi Coastal Improvement Program model. Hathorn explained the importance of being a team member as well as a team player to accomplish a mission. In his final statement to the students he explained the three questions to answer when faced with an engineering mission. A team of students led by a student project manager began working on the MsCIP model project applying the three question method Hathorn taught them.
1. What went wrong? 2. Can it be fixed? 3. How do we build to protect from the same occurrence that cause the damage?
Within minutes the students proved their ability to problem solve and team work produced a finished project to share with their classmates. Hathorn with much pride in his voice welcomed the upcoming engineers for the future!
A Biologist and Geologist
Sandy Gibson and Sheri Zettle, regulatory division biologist and geologist took the kids imagination into the world of water, plants, and soil. The students enjoyed a video of how man and animals can enjoy the earth for years to come. Maintaining our wetlands for floodwater storage, runoff control, and improvement of water quality, will ensure a balanced ecosystem. Gibson and Zettle also shared different species of plants found in several wetland areas. The students were delighted because some of the plants were familiar to them. Gibson and Zettle illuminated the idea of working with rocks and soil as a profession. Before the students exited Zettle told them to remember the three things that are required before land is considered wetlands. They are:
1. Wetland soil 2. Wetland Plants 3. Water
All the students clapped with joy and thanked the USACE Team for visiting and sharing their profession with them. The fourth and fifth grade teachers were just as excited to see their students participate with such enthusiasm. Jennifer B. Johnson, school guidance counselor welcomed USACE back for a longer session next time so she could incorporate her third grade classes. Johnson expressed her gratitude to the USACE team for accepting the invitation to participate in Indian Springs 2014 STEM Career Showcase.
Click play below to listen to fifth grade teacher Michelle Lynd's interview.