There are many ways to educate and to transmit knowledge, but making it entertaining and fun … that is the hard part. In SAME’s South Florida Post, one way we educate younger generations about the different STEAM career opportunities for science, technology, engineering, architecture, math and construction is through our annual STEAM Speaks event.
This past Saturday, March 17th, with the help of S.A.M.E members including individuals from the U.S. Coast Guard Civil Engineering unit from Miami, FL, and other local architects, the 2018 STEAM Speaks Minecraft event was a huge success. We used the popular and widely known app Minecraft to design a house or structure from the kids' imagination. Then using Lego’s, the participants were requested to build their design. That is when they had to deal with constructability issues. The final challenge was when they had to draw a plan, elevations and a building section. Since this is the most complex part of the activity, we had professional architects to help and coach them through the process. The kids ages 9 to 15 learned about two-dimensional and three-dimensional design, how to analyze the structures they designed, and build them from a different and more technical perspective. They even learned the differences between building first and then design, versus designing and then building.
The result was a really fun learning experience for everyone. The participants learned and interacted with design professionals with one on one coaching. The kids were surprised and excited to know they followed the same process that an architect follows to design a new project. Through one on one coaching, the participants learned about different career paths in architecture, engineering and construction.
One hundred percent of the proceeds from this event are used to fund our Post’s scholarship programs in STEM for both high school and college students. We thank all the volunteers who donated their time to support such a good cause.