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Best of the Week 2019-2020: Teaching to the Future



Life scout Zachary Molseed '19 recently completed his Eagle Scout Project, a Robotics and STEM Discovery Day. This program, designated for 4th-8th grade students at Zach's alma mater, St. Brendan School in North Olmsted, provided them with a day full of hands-on learning activities, demonstrations and building projects teaching them about robots, rockets and electronics. As part of the BSA Troop 630 at St. Brendan Church, Zach wanted to focus his Eagle Scout project on teaching younger students who have an interest in or are looking into studying STEM and Robotics. "This project gave me a chance to give back to the school that provided me with so many opportunities before coming to St. Ed's," says Zach. "I've always been interested in STEM and Robotics and really became passionate about them during grade school science fairs, local workshops and personal learning projects. Now, St. Ed's has taught me even more about these fields, especially through my Engineering classes, and they've taught me how to teach others about these subjects too."

Engineering Department Chair Mr. JC Froelich '08, Technology Manager Mr. James Millar '11, and Computer Programming teacher Mr. Anthony Mortimer, along with eight members of the Robotics Team, assisted Zach in teaching during his Discovery Day program. "The Robotics Team was instrumental in my project," says Zach. "They provided instructions throughout the day and brought in equipment and materials that we use at St. Ed's that these grade school students have never seen before. Mr. Froelich, Mr. Millar and Mr. Mortimer generously gave their time, knowledge and experience to help facilitate the day as well. My boy scout troop, members of the parish, and my family also helped me plan and set up for this program." The 20 students from St. Brendan who participated in Zach's Robotics and STEM Discovery Day took part in six different, interactive stations:

  1. Circuit Flashlights: Students built flashlights made with popsicle sticks, copper tape and lights.

  2. Bristle Robots: Students made robots out of the heads of toothbrushes and a motor in addition to Hovercrafts made with balloons and CDs.

  3. VEX Game: Students played this game utilizing robots built with VEX robotics systems.

  4. Bottle Rockets: Using an air pressure based 2-liter bottle launcher, students created bottle rockets.

  5. FCR Robot: Students learned about this robot that the St. Ed's Robotics Team uses in many of its competitions.

  6. Remote Controls: Students learned about and tested out the remote control to a robotic arm, an RC car and a drone.

"My Eagle Scout project was meant to inspire younger students to learn more about STEM and Robotics," says Zach. "One parent sent me an email after the event saying, 'This was truly a great event and a wonderful experience for my daughter. She had fun while not even realizing that she was learning so much all at the same time.' This perfectly summed up what my project was all about."

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