In 2013, one of the first investments for the John Jordan Foundation funded a Windsor High School Engineering section though the CTE Foundation Sonoma County. Windsor High has built the program and now has a full STEM Academy. This was the latest project.
The annual engineering design challenge kicked off the new school year at Spring Lake last week. This year’s Walking-On-Water design challenge asked students to design a device or vessel that will allow them to “walk” 25-yards across the surface of a body of water.
“This is how we want students to be introduced to their educational experience in the STEM academy,” explains Sean Vizino, the program’s engineering teacher. “This is real world learning that demands accountability. Students get to know each other based on their ideas and contributions to the team.”
The Axis STEM Academy uses the engineering design challenge to start students on a process of developing problem solving, teamwork, creativity and applied math and science. After only four days of classes, students have had to introduce themselves to fellow students, learn to calculate buoyancy forces, brainstorm concepts for a Walk-On-Water device, gather materials and build a “seaworthy” craft to carry one student across the Spring Lake swimming lagoon.