On Tuesday, MakerMinded had its third and final Tennessee launch event at the Creative Discovery Museum in Chattanooga. For this event, MakerMinded partnered with Learning Blade, a unique mission-based learning platform that exposes students to STEM careers.
To kick-off MakerMinded in East Tennessee, students from Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy, Girls Inc., among others, participated in the Learning Blade Car Manufacturing Challenge. In this challenge, they designed, built, and tested a car that was propelled only by rubber bands. Students worked collaboratively to figure out which design elements would propel their cars the farthest. Students faced challenges and choices along the way and needed to apply problem solving and critical thinking skills to move forward.
After designing their cars, students had the opportunity to explore the Creative Discovery Museum’s Make It Space, a unique, hands-on learning environment designed to “help children learn and explore the skills and tools that help makers turn their ideas into reality.” Students also learned about composite manufacturing from Hannah Jay, Communications Specialist at the Institute for Advanced Composite Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI). They were particularly fascinated to learn about the 3-D printing and had lots of questions about the future of the field.
All the components of the three launch events helped to spark student interest in advanced manufacturing and address the rapidly growing skills gap in the STEM fields. MakerMinded exists to excite students about STEM related careers early in their educational paths, especially opportunities in the advanced manufacturing field.
“At Learning Blade we are pleased to support and be part of MakerMinded as we believe the additional outreach to students and teachers, showing them additional opportunities for STEM engagement, will build the needed workforce,” said Sheila Boyington, President of Thinking Media.
Learning Blade is a featured activity on the MakerMinded portfolio where completing missions can earn points towards the MakerMinded campaign. At the end of the year, the three middle and three high schools in Tennessee that have participated in the most STEM activities on the MakerMinded platform win a virtual reality program for their school! Additionally, students can win STEM camp scholarships.
The MakerMinded campaign is off to an exciting start and the leaderboard is growing quickly! Make sure to check out all the awesome STEM activities on the MakerMinded platform at http://tn.makerminded.com/activities. Anytime you complete one of the activities, make sure to log your points so your school can move to the top of the leaderboard! We look forward to a great year!