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Finley and Family Engineering

IMG_1271.jpgKids came back to school on the chilly evening of Dec. 7, and they brought their families with them. More than 100 people gathered in the gymnasium to meet new friends and explore engineering in a playful, hands-on way.

Over 20 Finley Elementary teachers, including 4th grade teacher Lorianne Donovan and the principal, Pam Kinne, teamed up with PNNL scientists Frannie Smith and Elizabeth Stephens to deliver the "Family Engineering" event. Engineering "openers" kicked off the event with an array of hands-on activities to demonstrate the role of engineering in our everyday lives.

A "STEM in a Bag" discovery exercise followed and tables of families collaborated together to guess the theme for the evening's design challenges. Ms. Donovan read a popular children's book aloud to the crowd to kick off a story-related engineering design activity called the "Brain Saver."

The families engineered a protective cover for a raw egg so that it would not break when dropped from 10 feet high. (Like the boy in the book who cracks his head open) In the end, the families had fun learning about engineering basics and the importance of wearing helmets.

Finley School District is a Collaboratory member and a pioneer for STEM education advocacy and leadership in our region. National Science Teachers Association research shows that families who explore STEM learning together help sustain their students' interest in these challenging academic classes over the long haul. Facebook Photo Album.