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How Play and Exploration Bridge the Engineering Gap

As we enter into the summer months, parents around the nation are collectively wringing their hands, wondering what to do with their children over the coming months. Could this time off result in the loss of precious earned skills? Often many look to summer camps for children to learn a new skill such as building rockets or robots to keep the brain sharp during the lazy days of summer.

Sounds fun, right? The best part of all may be that the fun includes a critical level of learning that comes all the more easily because of the relaxed and fun nature of the work. Though often overlooked, it turns out that elements of creativity, storytelling and design have close links to the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) classwork that so many children profess to want nothing to do with.

Each year, there’s a collective push for the improvement of math and science test scores among students. The lower-than-desired numbers are often cited for the decreasing number of students choosing STEM-related fields such as engineering or manufacturing as a profession. When considered within the prism of a summer course on robot making, it’s hard to see how there could be a lack of interest in science and math, but back in the regular classroom the critical elements of exploration seem to be lacking.

The Missing Piece

What’s different about learning to build a robot over the summer compared to crunching numbers at a desk? Fun! We all know from experience how much easier it is to solve a problem when there’s an element of enjoyment in the process. A creative building tool called Roominate created by Alice Brooks and Bettina Chen, two recent Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduates, looks to infuse fun into STEM-related learning.

Conscious of the fact that many girls quickly decide they aren’t good at math and science, the engineers set about creating an element of play around creativity, circuitry, building, craft, creativity and storytelling. Creating a blank slate of possibility, the Roominate tools allow young children to explore science, technology, math and engineering from a summer camp mentality year-round.

Mother of Invention

At Walsh Manufacturing, we look to include this element of exploration in each metal fabrication and machine design project. While it’s not exactly like the summer camp of youth, we still believe in looking at each project from an innovative approach from our staff of experienced computer control specialists, metalworking specialists and mechanical engineers in order to provide the most cost-effective solution to our customers.

This means each project starts with a personal approach designed to meet the identified needs with a product that’s designed, fabricated and tested in our Cleveland location. To learn more about a custom solution, contact us today.

Walsh Manufacturing is a Cleveland, Ohio-based manufacturing company with five decades of experience in machine design and metal fabrication. Over this time, we’ve built a reputation as a diversified manufacturer of machined components, subassemblies, alloy material, fabricated steel and machinery. If you’re looking for a cost-competitive, innovative, and reliable supplier with expertise in Parts Washing Systems, Automation Equipment, Metal Fabrication and Machinery Rebuilding, look no farther than Walsh Manufacturing.