For the last eight years, high school students at Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School have hosted local sixth and seventh graders from Richmond and surrounding counties to learn about science through hands-on activities and exploration of laboratory techniques.
Science Matters takes you inside the Physics of Crew. Since making an appearance in the first modern Olympic games in 1896, the sport of rowing has been notorious for its difficulty, competitiveness, and high level of precision. Also known as Crew, this sport has high school, college, adult, as well as national level teams that compete in races called regattas all over the world. Boats race side by side for a short 2000 meter distance or a longer 5000 meter distance as a time trial at speeds reaching 15 miles per hour.
With team names like “The Loose Screws,” “Robo Warriors” and “Geeks in Just Their Underpants,” it was a safe bet the FIRST Tech Challenge Virginia Championship would not be your average scholastic event. True to form, the daylong robotics tournament in Richmond March 1st mixed equal parts technical ingenuity, competitive spirit and uncanny humor.
The Steward School in Henrico County is turning the student-teacher dynamic upside-down, placing babies at the head of the class. Health teacher Meredith McGuire recruited Dr. Charles Terry, a local pediatrician and Steward School board member, along with a group of babies and toddlers to lead lessons on human development.
December marks the beginning of competition in this year’s FIRST Tech Challenge, with qualifying matches scheduled across Virginia in the coming weeks. More than 140 teams statewide now participate in the fast-growing FTC robotics program.
Albert Einstein once said, “To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle, requires creative imagination and marks real advance in science.” This is still true for us today as it is increasingly more important for our children to learn to be creative thinkers and problem solvers. For us to compete globally, we need to teach our kids to be flexible thinkers who can develop solutions, not just memorize facts for the next test.
Eight year old Neha Bandaru made the trip with her mom from Northern Virginia to Richmond…to test drive robots. “It’s amazing what all these robots can do,” smiled the third-grade student. “I don’t think it makes a difference how old you are or whether you’re a girl or a boy,” said Neha. “When I grow up, I want to make a robot that’s huge and use a lot of technology, and then show it to kids.”
“All right, let’s move.” The command breaks the silence, and the novice sculptors wheel their chest-high tripods counter-clockwise, circling the model posed on the stand. The instruction comes from Morgan Yacoe, a 2011 graduate of the Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts’ nationally ranked sculpture program.