Louisiana Tech AGC Chapter promotes STEM at local school

For the fifth year in a row, third-grade classes at Cedar Creek Elementary School got the opportunity to learn about engineering and science from the Louisiana Tech University chapter of the Associated General Contractors organization.

AGC President Jeb Kraft giving the hardhat award to Maryan Wasiuddin

AGC President Jeb Kraft gives the hardhat award to Maryan Wasiuddin.

Louisiana Tech students majoring in the Civil Engineering and Construction Engineering Technology programs led the Cedar Creek Engineering and Science Day, teaching the elementary students about the fundamentals of construction, surveying, chemistry, and light.

The AGC team enthusiastically answered questions and engaged the young engineers and scientists as they built towers using marshmallows and spaghetti, made lava lamps using water and food dye, aired up balloons using vinegar and baking soda, and experienced what it’s like to use surveying equipment.

AGC president Jeb Kraft said that he enjoys the opportunity to mentor potential engineers and show them that engineering and science can be fun.

“The Cedar Creek Engineering and Science Day is the most fun and entertaining event we do each year,” Kraft said. “It’s awesome to watch the kids get excited about the engineering and science process.”

“Just like the previous years, this was another quality Engineering and Science Day at Cedar Creek provided by the AGC student members,” Reginald Jeter, program chair of construction engineering technology, professional in residence of civil engineering and construction engineering technology and AGC faculty advisor, said. “The third graders are eager to see us each year.  It is amazing to watch them as they participate in the activities.”

The highlight of the day was the competition, in which students built towers using raw spaghetti and marshmallows. Students competed for a hardhat award by trying to create the tallest standing structure. The award went to Maryan Wasiuddin, who built a whopping 27-inch tower of spaghetti and marshmallows.

Cedar Creek teacher Brooke Martin says that the Engineering and Science Day activities help the students learn that science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) are accessible and fun fields.

“We really push STEM in third grade,” Martin said. “These projects give our students experience with STEM. They really enjoy doing these projects, and they start to look at these fields as possible jobs, something that they can and would like to do in the future.”

“Our students are learning as they are doing the experiments, and it is opening up their minds to new fields of opportunities in the engineering and science worlds,” Cedar Creek teacher Kim Klug added.