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STEAM Ahead: Jackson Middle School students rise to the challenge | News, Sports, Jobs







Jackson Middle School seventh graders Isabella Bland, left, and Braley Cottrill, right, react as their design for a hydraulically operated mechanical claw begins to take shape and is used to lift a screwdriver. The STEAM Challenge was offered through the West Virginia University Department of Education Technical Assistance Center. (Photo provided)

Jessalynn Nelson, a seventh-grader at Jackson Middle School, tightens a screw on a mechanical claw during an engineering challenge Thursday at school. The STEAM Challenge was offered through the West Virginia University Department of Education Technical Assistance Center. (Photo provided)

Jackson Middle School seventh-grader Nick Romine checks the seal of a hydraulic piston used to power a mechanical claw during an engineering challenge Thursday at the school. The STEAM Challenge was offered through the West Virginia University Department of Education Technical Assistance Center. (Photo provided)

VIENNA — Seventh-grade students at Jackson Middle School received hands-on engineering and problem-solving experience on Thursday through a STEAM program through the University of Virginia’s Technical Assistance Center -Western.

West Virginia Department of Education STEAM-TAC (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) Specialist Angela McDaniel worked with Jackson science teacher Cherish George to present a challenge to students : design a mechanical gripping device powered by water. pressure.

Each group of students received a set of tools and parts and could use one of three models of hydraulic claws: gripper, rods or accordion. Students followed the blueprints of the various designs, often making modifications as they encountered and overcame problems. Many groups have had success creating working models of their chosen hydraulic claw designs.

George said she hopes the program will return in the future to provide more scientific and technical challenges for her students.

More information about STEAM-TAC can be found at steamtac.wvu.edu.




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