Before most of today’s Elementary students were even born, Adam Savage, former co-host of the Discovery Channel television series MythBusters, had captured the hearts of scientists-to-be around the world, using elements of the scientific method to test the validity of rumors, myths, movie scenes, adages, internet videos, and news stories.
A group of southern Ohio elementary students recently got a unique opportunity to learn about math and science directly from Savage. GE Aviation’s Peebles Test Operation invited the nearby Peebles Elementary FIRST LEGO League team to meet Savage while he was on site filming a GE YouTube video that will come out this summer.
Savage shared a message with the students on the importance of math, science and team work. The team also toured the site and got hands-on experience with the technology involved in designing and building jet engines.
“It’s magic that humans make things this reliable and this large,” said Savage. “I love visiting a place like this. Watching the different stages (of an engine test) around here and people putting them together – it normalizes what is a piece of magic to me,” he said.
The FIRST LEGO League team was sponsored by GE and coached by two GE Volunteers, Chris Puckett and Jenna Schreiner, who are engineers at Peebles Test Operation.
The group met 4 hours a week in the fall to work on a robot and prepare for regional competition in Cincinnati in December. Through the robotics competition the students were exposed to programming, engineering design processes, presentation skills and teamwork.
“We’re exposing them to content that’s in college courses,” said Puckett. “I wish they had something like this around when I was in high school,” he said.
“The team works hard. It’s extremely exciting to see how much passion these kids have about science and technology. Engineering is a lot of hard work, but in the end, you get to make really cool stuff like jet engines.” said Schreiner.
GE employees at PTO have a solid record of creating science and technology opportunities for young people in the region – GE Volunteers there donated more than 1,100 hours last year judging science fairs across the school district, leading “robot and rockets” projects during summer recreation programs, and providing field trips to the GE test site.