Friday, February 28, 2014 was not a typical school day for 100 middle school students gathered together from Infinity Institute in Jersey City and Science Park High School in Newark at Liberty Science Center (LSC). These 7th and 8th graders spent the day participating in science and engineering activities led by LSC educators and midshipmen from the United States Naval Academy (USNA).
In collaboration with LSC educators, 8 USNA midshipmen and faculty members, Gwen Gray and Richard O’Brien, staged a full day of hands-on activities focused on Navy-relevant topics such as ships, satellites, water masses, fluid dynamics, water density, material properties, and more, as well as a glider competition.
“Liberty Science Center is always eager to collaborate with partners like the U.S. Naval Academy because the experience both highlights and optimizes our relative strengths and capacities,” stated Daniel Menelly, VP of STEM Education. “In co-developing the activities of STEM day and teaching alongside the USNA’s midshipmen, we were able offer a learning experience that was robust, engaging, and both hands-on and minds-on. Our team was very inspired by the responses of the participating students, in particular their perceptions of the midshipmen as STEM role models. Strategically, Liberty Science Center shares a great many important goals and priorities for STEM teaching and learning with the U.S. Naval Academy, so we see the success of STEM day as one of many promising opportunities to collaborate again in the near future.”
Students learned the principles of underwater travel and built their own underwater gliders.
Before they learned how to conquer the deep sea, they learned how to conquer the air.
A student measures water density.
Students were assigned to work in teams and present their gliders in front of the entire class.