Let’s Talk STEM!

Maple Hill PLTW classes enjoy engineering day with Cal Poly students

By Kelli Gile

Photo courtesy: Kelli Gile Maple Hill PLTW students use engineering skills to build spaghetti and marshmallow towers.

Photo courtesy: Kelli Gile
Maple Hill PLTW students use engineering skills to build spaghetti and marshmallow towers.

Diamond Bar – Cal Poly Pomona Project Lead the Way (PLTW) and Women in Engineering (WE) students recently spent a day with 200 Maple Hill Elementary students to talk about STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) and how it relates to everyday life.

The college students visited 4th and 5th grade classes for 10-minute presentations about engineering and a spaghetti tower challenge.

The youngsters raced to build the “strong and tall” structures using dried pasta, with tiny white marshmallows as the “glue.” They quickly demonstrated teamwork, leadership, and creativity skills to successfully work with the fragile materials.

“We worked together to find lots of ways to solve the problem,” said 4th grader Joshua Chan.

“Engineering is hard, but fun too!” added classmate Leah Owens.

The Cal Poly visitors worked alongside the elementary students during the activity.

 Photo courtesy: Kelli Gile Cal Poly Pomona Women in Engineering and Project Lead the Way visit Maple Hill Elementary for a day of STEM education.


Photo courtesy: Kelli Gile
Cal Poly Pomona Women in Engineering and Project Lead the Way visit Maple Hill Elementary for a day of STEM education.

“It was very inspiring to see the frustration during the building turn into excitement when a free-standing structure was achieved,” Cal Poly student, Teresa Rodriquez, commented.

“We went to the school to help the students understand how engineers play a role in society, and to help them experience the process through a hands-on learning experience,” added another visitor, Jonathon Roberts.

Maple Hill launched the innovative PLTW program at the beginning of the school year, with kindergarten through fifth grade students immersed in robotics and engineering projects.

“It was a great day and our students enjoyed it a lot,” said kindergarten teacher Lisa Esse.
“We are hoping to continue and build our partnership with Cal Poly so that next year the engineering students will be coming on a regular basis.”

“I am glad to see both girls and boys so interested in STEM, and can’t wait to see the big creations their little minds develop in the future,” said Rodrigue