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is Elementary


Th e Engineering is Elementary®

(EiE) project fosters engineering and technological literacy among children. EiE has created a research-based, standards-driven, and classroom-tested curriculum that integrates engineering and technology concepts and skills with elementary science topics. EiE lessons not only promote K-12 science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) learning, but also connect with literacy and social studies.

Storybooks featuring children from a variety of cultures and backgrounds introduce students to an engineering problem. Students are then challenged to solve a problem similar to that faced by the storybook character. Th rough a hands-on engineering design challenge, students work in teams to apply their knowledge of science and mathematics; use their inquiry and problem-solving skills; and tap their creativity as they design, create, and improve possible solutions. In the end, students realize that everyone can engineer!

Th e Engineering is Elementary project also helps elementary school educators enhance their understanding of engineering concepts and pedagogy through professional development workshops and resources.

As a special project between Summit Engineering and Orange County Schools, students in 4th and

5th grade were able to participate in the PLAN stage of a real world engineering project at the school. Engineers from Summit surveyed the back fi eld at Central to help them in the planning stages for an upcoming construction project this summer on school grounds. Students were able to see how real world professional engineers utilize the Engineering Design Process.



During a unit about transportation, Pre K students read the Book “If I built a Car” by Chris VanDusen. Next, they used the engineering design process to develop their own classroom car. Th e fi nal result of the project was enjoyed by all the students.

“If of


Kindergarten worked with the Carrboro Arts Center and

created a mosaic. The mosaic tiles were incorporated into a

larger piece of art that currently hangs in the school.


First Grade

First graders discovered the connection between man made designs and earth materials such as clay, pebbles, sand, and rocks. Students learned about the Great Wall of China and then worked as material engineers to create their own walls. Each wall’s strength and durability was tested on its’ ability to withstand a “wrecking ball”.



Second grade students completed a unit on sound. Th ey learned how sound is produced and how it is heard. Students were then challenged as acoustical engineers to develop a way of communicating, as animals. Students created symbols and patterns to represent diff erent animal sounds and sayings. Th ey also engineered instruments to create these sounds. Th is engineering project integrated the arts and was expanded into a performance shared at the Orange County Cultural Explosion.

Second Grade

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Th ird grade started out the new year studying structures of the Earth’s surface. Aft er learning all about landforms and erosion, students practiced geotechnical engineering by helping an imaginary village in Nepal select a site to build a tarpul across a river. Later in the spring, the third grade studied the muscular and skeletal systems of the human body. Th e students were challenged to design a knee brace for a storybook character that injured himself hiking. As biomedical engineers the students engineered a knee brace that was both durable and usable. Interns from the prosthetics and orthot-ics department at the UNC hospital in Chapel Hill visited the school and shared their own engineered design for orthotic braces with students.




Following a unit on forces and motion, fi ft h graders learned more about the connections between physics, simple machines and industrial processes. Students were challenged to use simple machines to make work easier. Th is challenge took place in an imaginary potato chip factory where the students had to move a load of potatoes from the loading dock.

Fift h grade students also learned basic genetics as they learned how some traits are inherited and some are not. Students completed a teacher created activity where they created an imaginary creature with likenesses of its’ parents.



Fourth graders learned about the rock cycle, properties of and classifi cation of rocks and minerals. Th en they applied what they learned as material engineers replicating an archaeological artifact of a petroglyph for a museum.




Engineering Club

Th ird grade students had an opportunity to participate in an aft er school engineering club. Th is club was generously funded by the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke University and the Boeing Corporation as part of the Grand Challenges K-12 Partners Program. Th is program, which seeks to create an awareness of and involvement in the NAE Grand Challenges for the K12 community in order to (1) strengthen the STEM pipeline; (2) develop technical literacy and motivation needed to be successful as a society in solving Grand Challenges; (3) educate the populace on the engineering mindset and the role of engineering in addressing Grand Challenges and improving the quality of life. Duke engineering fellows came to Central and taught students about green engineering, aerospace engineering, and biomedical engineering. Students participated in many diff erent activities including this delicious one creating DNA models out of candy.

After School

Students in fourth and fi ft h grade helped to pilot a STEM education kit being developed by the American Society of Engineering Education and the Offi ce of Naval Research. Aft er school, select students completed 7 diff erent activities covering industrial, civil and environmental engineering. Feedback from our students and teachers will be incorporated into revisions of the activities before this kit becomes available to other educators and aft er school care providers.








Th e STEM Workforce: Top-Paying Majors and the Impact of Foreign-Born STEM Workers

Students in today’s K–12 science and technology classrooms heading for engineering careers are also headed for some high salaries says the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE). Engineering majors claimed seven spots on the list of top 10 paying majors for 2012–13 bachelor’s degree graduates, according to an April 2013 Salary Survey conducted by NACE.

Th I S c a N o b 2



Myron Wilson Principal Jayme Bell-Williams Assistant Principal Lizette Day STEM Coordinator

Contact Us

Central Elementary School 154 Hayes Street

Hillsborough, NC 27278 919.732.3622

919.732.2352 (fax)

Engineers Week celebrates the positive contributions engineers make to society. Engineers Week is part of many corporate, government and collegiate cultures and was celebrated at Central the week of February 17-23.

Professional engineers visited many classrooms with presentations and interactive demonstrations about their fi eld of engineering. Special guests included chemical engineers from Cormetech (one of the most technologically advanced catalyst manufacturing companies in the world with research and development laboratories in Durham, Wiesbaden, Germany and Beijing, China), a civil engineer from the City of Durham Public Works Department, a Geotechnical engineer with Summit Engineering’s Raleigh’s offi ce (Summit provides a full complement of creative and technical design and engineering services including construction materials testing, infrastructure design, land development, and geotechnical engineering), an environmental engineer with Solutions-IES (a leader in developing industrial and environmental solutions blending traditional techniques with innovative investigation) in Raleigh and a transportation engineer with Lea-Elliott (a company of engineers, architects and planners that specialize in the planning, design,

procurement, and implementation of new transportation systems… mostly automated mass transit).

Each students in the school also participated in the school wide egg drop competition. Students were challenged to engineer a device that would protect e raw egg when dropped. Th ere were many other constraints for the device such as size, materials allowed, etc. Th e devices created were dropped from step ladders and even the Rural Hillsborough Fire Department’s Ladder truck. A few devices protected the eggs the entire time- even the 75 foot drop from the fi re department’s ladder.

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Science Olympiad

On Saturday, March 23rd, Central Elementary School competed for the fi rst time in the North Carolina Science Olympiad. Central’s Science Olympiad team attended a regional tournament held at Middle Creek Elementary School in Holly Springs, NC. 15 students from 4th and 5th grades partici-pated in 18 diff erent events ranging from launching a water pressure rocket to answering questions about weather. Central Elementary won medals in 6 out of 18 events.