YVTC MESA & The Mid-Columbia STEM Education Collaboratory

YVTC MESA partnered up with the Mid-Columbia STEM Education Collaboratory to provide STEM related activities to K-12 boys and local Girl Scouts at the Collegium in Pasco.

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The YVTC MESA program engaged students in innovative, hands-on science and mathematics enrichment activities allowing each student to experience a STEM related activity. MESA provided science exhibits that included a shake table that simulates an earthquake. Students had to build a structure and see if it could with- stand a 5 second shake. In addition, there was a Sounds of the Ocean exhibit, rock exploring exhibit, an index card activity, and Bridge that Gap exhibit where students had to build a bridge and have a small vehicle go from point A to point B successful- ly.

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The Mid-Columbia STEM Education Collaboratory delivered hands-on engineering challenges using activities from the National Science Foundation-sponsored “Family Engineering” resource. Participants were invited to experience the world of nautical engineering by designing boats out of aluminum foil to hold as many pennies as pos- sible, and the world of acoustical engineering by filling containers with different types of sound-dampening materials to muffle the noise from rattling pennies or beans. Geological, civil, and mechanical engineering were also explored through challenges involving the strength of sand versus gravel, arches, and roller coaster design, respectively. The students demonstrated perseverance when working to improve their initial designs, and had fun competing with one another, as well as working together, to master each challenge.

The Collaboratory is a joint effort to leverage the combined strengths of co-founders Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Delta High School, Southeast Wash- ington Leadership and Assistance for Science Education Reform (LASER), and the Yakima Valley/Tri-Cities Mathematics, Engineering and Science Achievement (YVTC MESA) program —organizations that already work with teachers, students and community members in our region to inspire and prepare students to be the next generation of scientists, engineers and innovators.

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