Brecksville-Broadview Heights Middle School and Elementary School students applied their STEM skills in an exciting set of engineering challenges as part of the 28th annual Young Astronaut Day at the Cleveland State University Wolstein Center on Saturday, November 5th. Sponsored by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics in Northern Ohio (AIAA), the Young Astronaut Day program is designed to educate and encourage students regarding STEM career fields and NASA.
Approximately eighteen BBH students, including six Middle School students (two each from 6th and 7th grade) and twelve Elementary School students (six each from 4th and 5th grade), participated in the program. Students utilize their communication and critical thinking skills to work in teams to complete three activities that encompass one mission within a two-hour period while competing against other teams. During the event, local scientists and engineers volunteered to help lead the activities.Fourth-grade students built and launched their own rocket constructed out of paper and other supplies and engaged in a remote sensing activity where they determined the shape of covered objects via “echo locating” by shooting marbles at the objects. Points were awarded based on how accurately students predicted the shape of the covered object. Students also had the opportunity to design and build a lightweight solar shield to prevent light from reaching their space instrument.
Fifth through eighth-grade students worked together to design Mars rover wheels using provided materials that could move the fastest through both sandy flat and sloped terrains. Students also discovered the challenges of communicating in space with each team member being assigned a role as an observer, transmitter, and builder. Each team was required to build a space structure with the builder and observer only being able to communicate through the transmitter. The day’s third challenge involved successfully navigating a Mars rover through a timed obstacle course, with the BBHMS team taking 1st place! Other participating BBH teams earned recognition as well.
A special thank you to the BBHMS PSO and BBHES PSO for purchasing bus transportation and serving as chaperones at the Young Astronauts Day event. Congratulations to all participating students for being engaged and proudly representing the district!