STEM classes excel at RHMS

Published 9:06 am Tuesday, October 3, 2017

PLTW programs provide hands-on learning

The Rock Hill Middle School Project Lead the Way STEM classes recently completed their studies in design elements and aerodynamics, and are ready to begin a hands-on project to demonstrate what they’ve learned.

“Our STEM Project Lead the Way program is growing stronger every year,” Rock Hill Middle School Principal Jason Owens said. “This is our 13th year with the program, and we have seen many of our Rock Hill Project Lead the Way students go on to major in engineering and start their careers.”

The project encompasses students being given the task of designing dragsters using Autodesk Inventor Professional 2017 (CAD) computer software. Students must then transfer their ideas by crafting a design on a piece of wood. The students, with parental permission, use items such as band saws, hand sanders and drill presses to make their dragsters.

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Once the students’ dragsters are finished, they will then race them on a track with 100 psi on each dragster for a double elimination event.

Each study in the class is followed by a hands-on project. For example, the classes will learn to program a computer using RoboPro, and work on speed and torque by generating ratios.

Other hands-on projects include constructing workable traffic lights, cars and elevators using Vex and Fischer Teknics. These studies are designed to show students techniques to create interest in the growing engineering fields of study.

Rock Hill Middle School’s STEM instructor is Jearl Sasser, a graduate of Mississippi State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in chemical engineering. He has also furthered his credentials at the University of Louisville.

“Rock Hill Middle School is pleased to partner with Collins Career Technical Center in coordinating STEM programs,” Owens said. “We would like to thank Jearl Sasser, Gary Salyer and Matt Monteville for their endless commitment in furthering our students’ education with STEM Project Lead the Way.”