Last week, J3 Engineering Group employees volunteered to help Gathering on the Green with their STEAM initiatives. You have probably heard of STEM before (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). STEAM is a little different as it adds some emphasis on the Arts. The STEAM program, developed by Gathering on the Green, brings urban and suburban children together to learn creativity, problem solving, and teamwork.

Over the course of a week, some of our engineers taught classes to children from fourth through sixth grade in the Milwaukee and Mequon area. They implemented the five main ideas of STEAM into the curriculum and shared their experiences as an engineer. In the first class, students made their own catapult and tested how far they could launch various objects. A second class made bridges out of gumdrops and toothpicks, testing the weight with cookies.


The kids designed a catpult and tested how far different objects go


A third class created roller coasters out of colored paper, which was taped together. Marbles were run down the tubes to see how they traveled through turns, loops, and various heights. In another class, children built rockets out of a water bottle, foam board, masking tape and a cork. They tested the rocket by combining vinegar and baking soda to create a reaction. Lastly, one of our engineers performed a magic trick show, explaining the physics of how things work such as pushing a pencil through a plastic bag full of water, without losing any water.

Assembling some roller coaster paper rolls in advance

Engineers Jim and Susie prepare paper rolls for the roller coaster activity.

At the Gathering on the Green Family Fun Day on Saturday, J3 created a tower building challenge. We provided colored craft sticks, binder clips, clothespins, and rubber bands for families to construct their towers. Kids of all ages enjoyed the challenge of using their creativity and testing how tall they could make the tower, and how much weight it could hold. The top three scores won a twenty-five dollar Marcus Theater gift card. One of our winners built a crane using all the materials provided.

The top winner built a crane out of all the materials

The top winner built a crane out of all the materials

Gathering on the Green started in 1994 and is a non-profit organization that focuses on youth education. Each year a concert and other entertainment is held to benefit the programs of Gathering on the Green including STEAM. J3 Engineering Group was happy to help the community through this program and prepare students for success in the future.

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