Science Museum field tip to encourage Hastings students to think like engineersFourth- and fifth-grade students from St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Kennedy and Christa McAuliffe schools in Hastings, and St. John the Baptist School in Vermillion will learn how to think like engineers when they take a field trip to the Science Museum of Minnesota.
By: Jane Lightbourn, The Hastings Star-Gazette
Fourth- and fifth-grade students from St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Kennedy and Christa McAuliffe schools in Hastings, and St. John the Baptist School in Vermillion will learn how to think like engineers when they take a field trip to the Science Museum of Minnesota. Students will visit the museum on various dates in April and May for engineering explorations, a new interactive program sponsored by Flint Hills Resources that is designed to enhance student interest in engineering and fulfill new academic standards.
The program is an example of businesses and education working together to meet requirements set by the Minnesota Department of Education, according to Flint Hills.
Minnesota schools are now required to incorporate specific engineering material into their curriculum to prepare students for jobs of the future. The standards are new this school year and reflect the state’s commitment to educate students about the modern scientific world. Engineering Field Days help schools fulfill the standards in a way that is fun and engaging for students.
“We are thrilled and grateful that we are able to partner with Flint Hills Resources to make this initiative possible,” said Dr. Eric J. Jolly, president of the Science Museum of Minnesota. “It promises to equip a new generation with the tools to compete and innovate in a world where scientific literacy is critical to a successful workforce.”
During their trips to the museum, students from more than 30 elementary schools in the Twin Cities will learn how to combine math, science, creativity and curiosity to effectively think like engineers. While the typical museum visitor focuses on the exhibit and its significance, students will be challenged to consider how the exhibits were made, what materials were used to build them, and what problems were likely solved along the way.
For example, students will observe dinosaur skeletons, learn what holds the bones together, and determine what keeps them from falling down. Students will also view live theater programs that explain why all people are engineers to some extent.
“Engineering Field Days are designed to help spark kids’ imaginations in science and engineering,” said Jake Reint, director of public affairs at Flint Hills Resources. “As a high-tech manufacturer that employs hundreds of engineers and skilled workers, we know how important it is to encourage young people to take an interest in science.”
The Science Museum of Minnesota serves more than one million visitors each year with its hands-on exhibits, breathtaking giant screen films, special events, and unparalleled education programs
Flint Hills Resources, LLC, through its subsidiaries, is a leading refining and chemicals company. Flint Hills Resources Pine Bend in Rosemount has a crude oil processing capacity of about 320,000 barrels per day.