Students focus on engineering in two-week program
Students focus on engineering in two-week program
Posted on 12/17/2013

Mendota 4th grade students recently completed a special two-week study of engineering thanks to a residency program called Engineering is Elementary (EiE), offered by the Science Museum of Minnesota. 

Through the residency program, staff from the Science Museum came to Mendota classrooms to teach engineering and science lessons through fun projects. Mendota 4th graders studied magnetic levitation, or "maglev" for short, a concept similar to what's used for some high-speed trains in Europe, Japan and China. 

Mendota students read about maglev projects, tested magnetic poles, then created their own maglev train models. The Science Museum instructor explained that the train should levitate, then provided groups of students with magnets, a piece of foam, tape and a cardboard box. It was up to the students to work together, experiment and creatively solve problems in order to make their "train" float along tracks of magnets. 

Megan Mogelson,Gifted and Talented teacher at Mendota, managed Mendota's partnership with the Science Museum for the residency. 

"We really like the Engineering is Elementary program because it links invaluable literacy and engineering skills for students," Mogelson said. "Students learn to view situations with a different perspective and solve problems creatively while learning how to collaborate with others. Students are actively learning when they are in these classrooms: wondering, discussing, experimenting and laughing. These are all necessary skills for the 21st century learner."

The Mendota PTA applied for a grant from Verizon to make the Engineering in Elementary residency possible. Mendota 2nd grade students will have their own engineering residency in spring 2014. The school hopes to offer similar programs in the future.

Below: Students from Mrs. Lay's 4th grade class work on their maglev trains.

Engineering 1


Engineering 2


Engineering 3


 Engineering 4