LORDSTOWN - Lords-town Elementary School fourth and fifth graders have been learning about applying engineering, science and math skills through "A World in Motion" program.
General Motor engineers have been coming to the school for the past several weeks to provide guidance to students who have created jet toys or skimmers.
The program builds bridges between corporations and classrooms by giving teachers, volunteers and students the opportunity to work together and learn from each other.
Students in the classes of fifth-grade teachers Tiffany Davis and Christina Kappler have made jet toy vehicles, which move when an attached balloon is released. The fourth-grade classes of Dawn Toporcer and Dawn Cameron made a skimmer boat, which moves when a fan blows wind against the sail.
Davis said the students enjoy interacting with the engineers.
"This gives them a good opportunity to be creative. They get to integrate what they have learned in science and math and use creative thinking,'' she said.
Kappler said the last day of the program had the students doing their presentations on their completed products for the GM engineers.
Davis said language arts is also used for the presentations done by the students.
Kappler said the program between the school and GM has been in place since the early 1990s.
Davis said the engineers show how to assemble the jet toy or skimmer and then let the students work on their own, providing guidance and suggestions.
"It is very hands-on and students learned though trial and error," Kappler said.
Davis said the students learn what works and what doesn't work through their own mistakes and then find ways to fix the situation.
The students also made graphs showing data on what they did to create their project.
Kappler said during the presentations, the students showed the cars and talked about the process they went through.
Davis said the presentation was a way for them to market their product.
"Working in a group the students are finding out about teamwork when there may be strong personalities involved. Some students don't want to give up what they think they should do or deviate," Kappler said.
Davis said the school appreciates the engineers being able to take time out of their work day to come to the school and work with the students.
"It's a great program.We are lucky to have it," Kappler said.
Davis said the program allows for a sense of community in Lordstown since many of the engineers work and live in the community.
Wendall Shaw, senior electrical engineer at General Motors, and eight other GM employees volunteered their time to provide guidance to the students as they constructed their jet toy or skimmer.
''This is a good venture for the students and the workers. We hope to play a role in motivating students to consider careers in science, technology, engineering and math,'' he said.
Shaw said the students were introduced to many engineering concepts, and later gave a presentation on their projects.
''They sell what they have created and learned. We want them to do self trial and error with the guidance we provide,'' Shaw said.
This week the fifth graders toured the General Motors assembly plant and the fourth graders the West Fabricating Plant.
The program is designed to help students become tomorrow's engineers and scientists and is a teacher-administered program that brings science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education to life in the classroom. AWIM incorporates the laws of physics, motion, flight and electronics into age-appropriate hands-on activities that reinforce classroom STEM curriculum.