Vanderbilt’s chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers recently hosted a group of local middle school students for a half-day of hands-on learning.
Held on a Saturday, the Sept. 28 event included a lecture, interactive projects and a campus tour, and was a partnership between Vanderbilt ASCE and i3 G2ROW STEM, an after-school and weekend Metro Nashville Public Schools program and multi-year Federal grant committed to growing STEM education in middle schools.
Volunteers from Civil and Environmental Engineering welcomed the middle schoolers to campus with a video and Q&A session in Stevenson Center, where they encouraged the students to continue exploring STEM learning opportunities and to consider careers in civil engineering. Their tour of campus included stops at Steel Bridge Hall and the Structures Lab in Featheringill Hall.
The most popular portion of the trip—the interactive projects—included a variety of collaborative learning experiences in engineering, including designing safe bike lanes, constructing a retaining wall and creating a building out of K’NEX pieces.
“As a partner of the i3 G2ROW STEM program, I believe it is important for young kids to be encouraged to think about their future,” said Lexi Revis, a student in Vanderbilt’s Civil Engineering program and member of ASCE. “Being on a college campus and learning about STEM careers—specifically civil engineering careers—from Vanderbilt professors and students, sets the stage for the i3 kids to visualize themselves as college students.”
To learn more about the i3 G2ROW STEM program, visit https://www.mnps.org/i3-g2row-stem.