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Building bridges

posted: Fri, Dec 15th, 2017

MOMS students recently put their ingenuity and science knowledge to the test by constructing the strongest bridges they could using just toothpicks and gumdrops. The structural challenge, done by every student in the school, also helped the kids develop their critical thinking skills and ability to collaborate with their peers.

Gabrielle Czernik, a civil engineer with the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, guided the students through the hands-on STEM lessons which were conducted in the cafeteria and library throughout the day. Each bridge had to span stacks of books set eight inches apart.

"The level of excitement and enthusiasm was incredible," said David Eisenberg, MOMS' library media specialist who organized Ms. Czernik's visit. "The students saw how the science that they're learning in school is used in real life. Showing the relevance between what is taught in the classroom and how that knowledge is applied in the real world makes learning powerful and long-lasting."

Before the hands-on science, Ms. Czernik discussed civil engineering careers and the most common specializations (transportation, geotechnical, environmental, coastal, water resources, and construction). She also discussed the role of the Parks Department in managing New York City’s 5,000 parks and 160 miles of waterfront.

This is the fourth year in which Ms. Czernik has brought hands-on engineering challenges to MOMS students.

Mount Olive Middle School
160 Wolfe Road Budd Lake, NJ 07828
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