AIKEN, S.C. – Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) volunteers are distributing Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) kits to teachers within the Central Savannah River Area (CSRA) as part of SRNL’s efforts to increase awareness of opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math during National Engineers Week.
The STEM kits include a Resource Area for Teaching (RAFT)lesson plan and the materials to create a selfsupporting bridge – made without glue, fasteners or rope — originally designed by Leonardo da Vinci. After building the bridge, students test its load capacity and calculate the efficiency of the bridge. The exercise inspires design, teamwork and communication by allowing students to conduct investigations, generate and compare solutions, and test variables between forces and motion, and causes and effects.
“This simple STEM kit and lesson allows students to develop STEM skills while working together as a team,” said Sharon Marra, SRNL deputy director of Operations. “This initiative also provides SRNL the opportunity to be a STEM resource for local teachers and schools within the CSRA.”
More than 50 teachers in Aiken, Barnwell, Edgefield and Allendale counties in South Carolina, and in Richmond, McDuffie, Burke, Lincoln and Columbia counties in Georgia, will receive the STEM kits, and those kits will engage more than 4,100 students in STEM learning. SRNL volunteers will deliver the STEM kits and an SRNL-branded periodic table of the elements now through the end of National Engineers Week (Feb. 19-25).
Savannah River National Laboratory is a United States Department of Energy multi-program research and development center that’s managed and operated by Battelle Savannah River Alliance, LLC (BSRA). SRNL puts science to work to protect the nation by providing practical, cost-effective solutions to the nation’s environmental, nuclear security, nuclear materials management, and energy manufacturing challenges (https://srnl.doe.gov/).
B-roll video footage of SRNL volunteers assembling STEM kits is available at https://srnscorpcomm.sharefile.com/d-s2c99e5fb7d614118b69bc02ce68f7e97