The SAME Minneapolis-St. Paul Post has long supported the SAME goal to encourage young members of the local community to explore future careers in engineering. In years past, the Post has provided scholarships, sponsored SAME engineering camps and supported local engineering and science programs. Recently, at the Post’s April meeting, the Post membership saw firsthand the benefits from the launching of an Education Grant Program for elementary and high-school students more than two years ago.
Cheri Warmka, a teacher at Harriet Bishop Elementary School in Savage, Minn., was able to purchase two stream tables for the school as the result of a grant awarded by the Post last year. The stream tables allow students to study how variables like rate of flow or ground cover can change the impact of the water on the land. Rain and wave simulators also make it possible to study many real-world situations. With the purchase of this equipment, the school was able to implement the Minnesota science standards in a hands-on way, making it fun for the students to learn.
Ms. Warmka and two of her students, Matt and Anna, gave a presentation about their use of stream tables in science class at the Post’s April meeting. Matt and Anna talked excitedly about all they learned on how water will go where it wants to go, no matter how hard they tried to manage or control it. Matt and Anna used their creativity to recreate situations they read or heard about in the news. Matt set up an experiment to determine how to protect bluffs along the Mississippi River from erosion. Anna set up a leaky pipe to investigate formation of a sinkhole beneath a sidewalk. Ms. Warmka expressed how thankful she was to have been able to receive the grant funds and put them to use on an asset that will be used for years to come in helping give the students firsthand experience with the dynamics of water.
The Minneapolis-St. Paul Post is refreshed to see how the ingenuity and creativity of our school teachers, such as Ms. Warmka, is helping develop young minds. Without a doubt, Matt and Anna will make great engineers in the not too distant future. Matt and Anna were awarded Minneapolis-St. Paul Post coins as a token of the Post’s appreciation for their great presentation to one of the most widely-attended Post meetings this year.
Wayne Wambold, Minneapolis-St. Paul Post