2017-01-19 / Local News

Science classes move to new heights at St. Mary School


ST. MARY School has expanded its advanced physical & natural science class to include robotics, engineering, electricity and magnetism. Pictured from left are teacher Chris Schaub and students Andrew Tondreau, Alvin Grant, Emmy Alflen, Chris Kohler and Austin Tarsa. ST. MARY School has expanded its advanced physical & natural science class to include robotics, engineering, electricity and magnetism. Pictured from left are teacher Chris Schaub and students Andrew Tondreau, Alvin Grant, Emmy Alflen, Chris Kohler and Austin Tarsa. St. Mary School has expanded its advanced physical and natural science class to include objectives in robotics, engineering, electricity and magnetism.

“I’ve always been a visual learner and since this class is so hands-on, I’ve learned a lot and enjoyed every project,” senior Emmy Alflen said.

Student discussion drives the course in engineering, and students dive in to produce results through trial and error. The class has designed bridges with a goal of the lowest weight-to-weight held ratio.

Students are working on a project to convert mechanical energy into electrical energy.

The robotics portion of the class includes hands-on and computer programming. Members build robots using Legos with moving robotic components called Mindstorms. The program grows with students — from running a preset function or showing students how to program, and eventually to students programming the robot completely.

A 3-D printer was added to the classroom just before Christmas, allowing students to draw and design with a CAD program. The designs are then programmed into the printer to create 3-D items. In the first two runs, the printer produced a whistle and a teacup.

The expanded offerings were made possible by the Charles M. Bauervic Foundation, local engineering companies and several individual donors.

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