A group of St Philip students in grades 5-8 are participating in a unique program, Design Squad Global, co-sponsored by WQED, Pittsburgh engineering companies, and the Society of Engineers of Western Pennsylvania. Through this program, students will have the opportunity to partner and collaborate with students from a school in India through a digital platform. Participants in the US and India will complete the same four engineering challenges which will emphasize the design process to solve problems and highlight engineering as a powerful tool for making a difference in the world. Partner classes in India and the US then share their experiences by exchanging design ideas, photos, and videos. In addition to expanding their engineering experiences through fun-packed, high energy, hands-on activities, students will begin developing their “global competence”—the ability to communicate and collaborate with people from different backgrounds, cultures, and perspectives. Enhancing the real-life connection, volunteers from the Society of Engineers mentor the participants while completing the challenges in their schools.
Participants will also be asked to create an invention that will have a focus on environmental sustainability. The inventors will video tape a presentation of theirinnovations in a Shark Tank format for review by a panel of engineers at WQED.
The project will culminate with an opportunity to team up with other Pittsburgh
Design Squad Global member schools to solve three challenges at the WQED studios, see presentations by the sponsoring Western Pennsylvania companies such as PPG, Ansys, Mine Safety Appliance, and have their inventions showcased.
Fun, active, and engaging, the overarching goal of the program is for students to see themselves as young engineers with the power to make a difference. by igniting an entire generation interests in engineering as a dynamic career path and an achievable goal. In the end, if a student decides to pursue a STEM profession or another career, Design Squad Global helps them build confidence and resourcefulness applicable in any future career.
Our first challenge was to design an “airplane” using a spoon and send it down a zipline as fast as possible.