Program helps Rosemount students meet curriculum standards
Flint Hills, Science Museum encourage engineering, science learning
Fourth- and fifth-grade students from Shannon Park, Parkview and Rosemount elementary schools are learning how to think like engineers and scientists as they take field trips to the Science Museum of Minnesota.
Students are visiting the museum in April and May for Engineering Explorations, a new interactive program sponsored by Flint Hills Resources that is designed to enhance student interest in engineering and fulfill new academic standards. The program is an example of business and education working together to meet requirements set by the Minnesota Department of Education.
Minnesota schools are required to incorporate specific engineering material into curricula in an effort to prepare students for jobs of the future. The standards are new this school year and reflect the state’s aim to educate students about the modern scientific world. Engineering Field Days help schools fulfill the standards in a way that organizers say is fun and engaging for students.
During their trips to the museum, students from more than 30 elementary schools in the Twin Cities will learn how to combine math, science, creativity and curiosity to effectively think like engineers.
While the typical museum visitor focuses on the exhibit and its significance, students will be challenged to consider how the exhibits were made, what materials were used to build them, and what problems were likely solved along the way.
For example, students will observe dinosaur skeletons, learn what holds the bones together, and determine what keeps them from falling down. Students will view live theater programs that explain why all people are engineers to some extent.
Engineering Field Days are designed to help spark kids’ imaginations in science and engineering,” said Jake Reint, director of public affairs at Flint Hills Resources. “As a high-tech manufacturer that employs hundreds of engineers and skilled workers, we know how important it is to encourage young people to take an interest in science.”