Harry Potter themed program helps spark interest in engineering

Students building wandsMore than 100 students in kindergarten through fifth grade put their magic to the test at the second annual Educating Young Engineers (EYE) program, hosted by Schuylerville Elementary School on April 1. This year’s program was “Engineering in the Wizarding World.” Students spent the day making LED wands, constructing a Lego bridge for the Hogwarts Express, making a compass for Hogwarts Navigation, building ‘Snitch launchers’ (catapults), and experimenting in ‘Potions class.’  About 35 parent, teacher, and high school volunteers led the kids through these hands-on engineering stations.

“The Educating Young Engineers Saturday Program is exceptional,” Principal Gregg Barthelmas said. “Our K-5 students were able to participate in a variety of hands-on activities. They were challenged all day and were able to demonstrate a deep level of creative thought to solve some pretty challenging tasks. The students absolutely loved it!”

“I watched kids working together who normally might not interact with one another,” said parent Bob DeBusk. “Our group had boys and girls from third, fourth and fifth grade cooperating to solve problems. Through each activity every point of view was equally valid, no matter the age or gender of the participant.”

EYE was created four years ago by Saratoga High School students as a way to get kids excited about engineering.  These high school students create all of the activities, provide the supplies, train volunteers, and help out during the event.  This year, the EYE team brought the program to six different area elementary schools, including Schuylerville. Learn more:  http://www.educatingyoungengineers.com/