Students get insight about engineering

Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal

Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal

Fourth-graders Anthony Burgess, Nick Bowler, Spencer Lang and John Rowe worked together, squeezing liquid through syringes to control a hydraulic arm Friday afternoon at Fritsch Elementary School.

"I'd rather do this than play video games," said Nick, 10. "It's very interactive."

John, 9, added: "You're actually figuring out something, not just rotting out your brain."

Students throughout the school spent the day rotating through a series of workshops as part of their annual Junior Engineering Day sponsored by the school's parent-teacher association.

"I love it," said fourth-grade teacher Diana Easby. "It's a good day because the kids are all involved every single one of them."

The hands-on, interactive program was developed by the University of Utah, and supplies are transported to the site. Teachers use the provided materials to teach courses ranging from shapes, colors and senses for the younger grades to robotics, rockets and fossils for older students.

"The teachers do the work, and the kids reap the benefits," said parent Emily Howarth, who coordinated the event.

Nichole Guthrie, 8, gained some otherworldly knowledge.

"We learned about what toys would do in space," she said. "If you have a little basketball, you can do anything with it because it floats. It's not like here where there's gravity."

Dajarrah Navarro, 8, however, took away more practical information.

"We learned if you stick something in your ear and it touches your eardrum you won't be able to hear," she said.

LeAnn Saarem, PTA board member, said the engineering day is used as motivation for the kids to participate in school fundraisers.

"When you walk down the halls, you hear, 'Wow,' and 'Whoa,' coming from the classrooms," she said. "This is the day the kids remember the most."

The most popular exhibits and interactive experiments were on display for parents Friday evening at the school.

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