Lab, Griffiss Institute unveil Virtual Engineering Club

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An Air Force Virtual Engineering Club for Mohawk Valley area middle-school students, as a new STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) initiative, was announced by Rome Lab’s STEM Outreach Program in partnership with the Griffiss Institute.

Rome Lab is formally known as the Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate.

The new free after-school engineering club will run for eight weeks on Wednesdays beginning Feb. 24 from 3:30-5 p.m. in Zoom livestream sessions online.

It is designed to engage middle-school students in using their minds and hands to learn basic principles of engineering by designing, building, testing, and redesigning their own working devices.

The curriculum combines guided investigations with fun open-ended design challenges, emphasizing hands-on experience in solving practical engineering problems through creativity and the application of scientific ideas.

Up to 20 students in grades 6-8 will work in online groups and in solo home activities, using recycled or inexpensive craft materials and simple electronic components to build and test their own engineering creations. Materials will be provided, and no prior experience is required, according to the announcement.

“The Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate is committed to continuing its STEM outreach in spite of the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Jeff DeMatteis, the directorate’s STEM Program Manager.

Spots for the virtual club will be filled on a first-come-first-served basis. To learn more and to register, visit https://www.griffissinstitute.org/stem-engineering-club online.

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