Sharing STEM at Rolling Ridge


Scientists, big and small, filled Rolling Ridge Elementary on Thursday, July 26th, for STEM Share Day.


Local scientists visited the school STEM Camp to discuss their jobs with the young scientists attending camp. 


In one classroom, Craig Jackson discussed aviation and an island-hopping flight path that delivers mail, medication and cargo to remote Pacific islands.


Across the hall, industrial hygienist Tim Paz shared the ways in which he protects worker health. Students had an opportunity to try out various pieces of personal protective equipment, including noise-cancelling ear muffs, ear plugs and safety glasses. Paz played James Brown’s “I Feel Good” on his cell phone and helped students measure its decibels with a sound-level meter.


Environmental scientists Maddie Cox and Chelsea Saber talked about their work in ensuring clean drinking water.  They noted that they collaborate with lots of other kinds of scientists, including engineers and archaeologists, during many of their projects.


Geotechnical engineers Mike Newman and Tim Gary brought sieves and had students analyze soil particles.  They reviewed the regions of the Commonwealth of Virginia and talked about their work in fixing landslides and building retaining walls or foundations.


Mechanical engineer Paul Bizot used paper and tape to lead students in construction exercises.  Students marveled at the relative strength of paper and the fact that pulp fibers wouldn’t let them tear paper by pulling on the ends of the sheet.  They built paper towers and tested them to see whether they were capable of supporting textbooks.