Brush bot robots, clothespin airplanes and bottle rockets covered tables at Temple Beth-El in Ormond Beach Nov. 14 as Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University students met with a group of girl scouts and cub scouts.
ERAU Society of Women Engineers and STEM Outreach club faculty advisor Claudia Ehringer Lucas, an assistant professor of engineering at the university, thought it would be valuable for the groups to speak with Ormond Beach scouts during their weekly meeting.
Her daughter, Hailey Lucas, is a Girl Scout with Troop 371, and her son, Daniel Lucas, is a Cub Scout with Pack 327.
“I take my children to as many events with ERAU clubs as possible, as they also benefit from it,” she said. “It motivates them to engage in higher-level critical thinking, without even knowing it. They know that math and science is fun and have the confidence to work towards completing any goal.”
“I take my children to as many events with ERAU clubs as possible, as they also benefit from it, it motivates them to engage in higher-level critical thinking, without even knowing it. They know that math and science is fun and have the confidence to work towards completing any goal.”
CLAUDIA EHRINGER LUCAS, ERAU Assistant Professor of Engineering and SWE and STEM Outreach clubs faculty advisor
Lucas is proud of her engineering students for using the skills they’ve learned at ERAU to teach children in Volusia County the importance of STEM and inspire them to become interested in learning more about the subjects through examples and experiments. Alexander Maschner, president of the STEM Outreach club, remembers how Idaho State University physics club students came to his school to do demonstrations.
“They would do crazy experiments,” he said. “They would light stuff on fire, blow up balloons. All sorts of stuff. I was inspired by them. So when I came out here and met the (ERAU) club, I did one event with them and I was immediately hooked. That made me stick with the club the last four years.”
Emma Rosson, president of the Society of Women Engineers, recalls that she was not exposed to engineering in elementary or middle school. In high school, she was part of the first AP computer science class and started the first engineering club.
“I did not really get this intense STEM as a child,” she said. “It’s great for the kids. They are so excited. It’s cool to be able to bring STEM to them at such a young age.”
Joe Jernigan has been an assistant cub master for three years and involved in scouts for 22 years. He believes it’s important for the scouts to interact with the ERAU students and to learn about STEM.
“Giving the scouts the opportunity to not only work with STEM, getting the technology and education in mathematics, but also allowing them to work with other young people that they can look at and say, ‘These are the people that I want to be when I get to be that age,’ is a fantastic program,” he said.