Blast Off! Education Community Service at Olin

A big part of extracurricular student involvement at Olin is community service.  One of our most active student service projects is Engineering Discovery, which seeks to bring Olin-like problem solving experiences to elementary education.  I've been a core member of this group for three years now and really enjoy the challenge of helping kids conquer open-ended design problems.

Last Saturday, we put on a workshop that let local 4th and 5th graders design, build, and launch their own rockets.  Check out this video!

Powered by a core group of 15 students this
year, Engineering Discovery develops and runs 1-3 hour educational workshops that expose kids to open-ended, hands-on projects to teach students
the value and excitement of technical problem solving.  Each
workshop revolves around a particular theme, such as rocket design or
renewable energy.  We emphasize a team-based learning environment which
encourages students to collaborate and learn from each other.

Here is one team of students taking a break from dropping paper models down several stories of the Academic Center to choose the right nosecone shape.

RachelAndKidsNoseconeTesting.jpgAfter exploring how different design decisions might influence the rocket's height and stability in flight, each kid gets to make their own rocket.

RocketGirls.jpgOf course, the coolest part of the day is launch time.  These rockets fly up to 200+ ft and really make for a good show.

MattRushLaunchInAction.jpg

Overall the workshop was a great success.

You can learn more about Engineering Discovery through our website:

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