St. Philip 6th 7th, and 8th grade Thinking Caps students completed the third phase of the Design Lives Here project sponsored by the WQED Education Department. This project required the students to build a dance mat that would light a bulb or sound a buzzer when danced upon. Dancing with the Stars it wasn’t but the wiring was a 10 as every team was able to make their mats flash or buzz! Engineer Matt Castiglia lead the project and assisted the students.
Ten students participated in the Reading Festival sponsored by the Allegheny Intermediate Unit and Allegheny County Library Association. This year, the Reading Festival became the Allegheny County Children’s Choice Awards (AC3A). Similar to a Mock Newbery program, schools and public librarians worked together to help the kids of Allegheny County (in grades 4-6) choose the best book of 2010 culminating in a big final event/festival at the Heinz History Center.
The festival really began in the fall with teachers and students nominating their 3 favorite books published in 2010. The AIU then compiled a list of the 10 most popular selections and the students were invited to begin reading the books, a set of which were donated to local libraries. The schools and libraries were then encouraged to collaborate on activities that would make reading a special experience. Crafton Librarian Carolyn Rosenquest sponsored a Battle of the Books and invited the Reading Festival participants from Carlynton and St. Philip to challenge in a trivia contest based on the 10 books.
The festival event itself featured keynote speaker Joe Wos, executive director of Toonseum, a storytelling workshop, skit presentation based on one of the books, and an opportunity to write a story and record it for the Hear Me story recording project directed by Carnegie Mellon. The program seeks to permit kids to hear, see, and read each other’s stories and allow educators, parents, and policymakers to gain an insight into students’ thoughts.
Highlight of the day was voting for the student’s favorite book of the group. Representing St. Philip School were. Maggie Leone, Evie Hoff, Hope Grefenstette, Ana Petrak, Miranda Thompson, Brianna Caridi, Erin Sheedy, Michael Seitz, Maddie Hoff, and Elias Ward.
Engineer Matt Bastiglia worked with the 6th 7th, and 8th grade Thinking Caps students on the second phase of the Design Lives Here project. Sponsored by the WQED Education Department it is a program that provides engineering and design activities as well as mentors to middle school classes throughout the region. Working with the Engineers’ Society of Western Pennsylvania (ESWP), the WQED Education Department has identified the common goal of assisting educators in teaching STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) subject matter. The ESWP is interested in engaging young people in STEM careers by providing them with exciting and interactive real-world applications of engineering.
This time the students were challenged to build a solar device to heat water that passed through an apparatus that they created. The students experimented with different materials, colors, and designs to determine which are the best for conducting heat.
St. Philip 6th 7th, and 8th grade Thinking Caps students are participating in an innovative project sponsored by the WQED Education Department that provides engineering and design activities as well as mentors to middle school classes throughout the region. Design Lives Here is a student outreach program based on the PBS television program called Design Squad Nation, a reality-based program created to “inspire the next
generation of engineers.”
Working with the Engineers’ Society of Western Pennsylvania (ESWP), the WQED Education Department has identified the common goal of assisting educators in teaching STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) subject matter. The ESWP is interested in engaging young people in STEM careers by providing them with exciting and interactive real-world applications of engineering.
In their first NASA/Design Squad Challenge, St Philip students designed and built a shock-absorbing system that will protect two astronauts when they land from materials supplied by the program. They also had the advice of the mentor provided from ESWP, Matt Castiglia, a civil engineer.The students will complete three more challenges at St. Philip and will then compete with other teams at WQED in May in a final design competition.
Twenty-six 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students represented St. Philip School at the Sci Tech festival at the Carnegie Science Center. The student saw a presentation in the sky dome on the vast expanse of the universe, had a hands-on opportunity to work with cleaning up oil spills and testing the water quality of the river on the River Quest boat, and viewed exhibits and demonstrations by many large Pittsburgh corporations including a nuclear submarine exhibit by Bettis, a solar and wind power demonstration, and an explanation of hydro and aqua ponics