Adamsville Primary School students took part in Young Engineering Students (YES) Day at the Rutgers Busch campus in Piscataway Wednesday, constructing roller coasters and taking part in other similar activities.
The program included age-appropriate events for elementary, middle and high school students.
According to a release from the university, third and fourth grade students from Adamsville took part in an essay contest to determine who would have the chance to attend the workshop. Students looking to participate were required to answer the question, “What do engineers do?”
One student, Logan, said he wrote about how he enjoys building with Legos, the release said, and he spent time during the workshop constructing a roller coaster that would carry a marble along a track.
According to the release, the students spent time creating hills and valleys to generate movement of the marble. Although the marble didn’t fully make it to the end, the release said, they got right back to it and tried all over again.
Other activities at the program included building a chair out of cardboard that could support the weight of a high school student for five minutes, cleaning up a fake oil spill and building a zip line to transport an egg, among others.
Evelyn Laffey, assistant dean for engineering education at the Rutgers School of Engineering, said in the release that it is important to expose students to these engineering skills.
“Aside from encouraging students to pursue a career in engineering or a technical field, an important aspect of the YES program is to expose students, especially underrepresented groups, to the variety of opportunities that exist in the field of engineering from developing sustainable packaging for products to using robotics for bridge maintenance to tissue engineering and so much more,” she said.
Other schools participating in the event included Plainfield High School, New Brunswick High School and Thorne Middle School.
National Engineers Week was founded in 1951, and is an annual celebration of positive contributions by engineers.