District 196 sixth-graders hone engineering skills

Rosemount Middle School sixth-grader Emma Duchscherer builds a catapult with her mom, Jennifer Duchscherer, who chaperoned a field trip to The Works Museum in Bloomington as part of a special engineering program supported by Rosemount’s Flint Hills Resources. (Photo submitted)
Rosemount Middle School sixth-grader Emma Duchscherer builds a catapult with her mom, Jennifer Duchscherer, who chaperoned a field trip to The Works Museum in Bloomington as part of a special engineering program supported by Rosemount’s Flint Hills Resources. (Photo submitted)

All 2,120 Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan School District sixth-graders are honing their engineering skills this fall by using hammers, drills, saws, and rubber bands to build catapults at The Works Museum in Bloomington.

The field trips, sponsored by Rosemount’s Flint Hills Resources, offers a hands-on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) curricula. At The Works Museum, workshop leaders used the Engineering Design Process to guide District 196 students through the planning, design, and building phases of the catapult project, followed by field testing and modifications to make the devices more powerful and accurate.

“When we’re able to augment time in the classroom with interactive fields trips, our students receive a more enriching educational experience,” said Cathy Kindem, teaching and learning coordinator for District 196. “We are thankful for Flint Hills Resources’ generous sponsorships that make these unique learning opportunities possible.”

“The Works Museum provides essential STEM education to students across Minnesota. Our engineering programs inspire students to explore engineering and develop critical thinking skills, including creativity, problem solving and persistence. These are skills students need to succeed in school and beyond,” said Jill Measells, CEO of The Works Museum.

“The team at The Works Museum has a unique ability to inspire young minds,” said Heather Rein, community affairs director for Flint Hills Resources. “We feel fortunate to partner with an organization where creativity and engineering go hand-in-hand with fun.”

More information about The Works is at www.theworks.org.

More information about Flint Hills’ Rosemount refinery is at www.pinebendrefinery.com.