MADISONVILLE, Ky. (4/29/13) - The Girls in Engineering and Technology Program has been sponsored by TVA (Tennessee Valley Authority) for the last six years. This program serves both Hopkins and Muhlenberg Counties with approximately 500 participants each year.
Targeting mainly six grade girls, due to it being such a climatic time in their lives, they will have to prepare and choose which math and science classes they will be taking when they enter high school. “Every girl’s task in this program is to be an engineer for a day. These girls will learn to construct a pipeline that teaches valuable skills for later careers in this field involving math, science and technology,” stated Paula Pendergraff, Work Force Solutions for Madisonville Community College.
This projection stimulates energy production process from the Western Kentucky coal mines to TVA’s power plant to light up businesses and homes. Throughout this project, the girls will use engineer- related and math skills to design a plan.
In the lab, the room is divided up into sections. Located in the middle of the room, a big black barrel of water is placed which represents the coal mines. Each girls job is to construct a pipeline that would take you from the coal mines, through some obstacles and then finally to the TVA Paradise Plant. From this program the girls learn how to design an idea by using creative thinking skills, how to measure and purchase materials from a supplier by using math and budgeting skills and learn how to work as a team to overcome physical obstacles so that ultimately power can be generated.
The pipelines are made out of PVC pipes that consist of three different lengths. The accountant, purchaser and Inventory Control Manger keep track of all the money (which they used Smarties) buy supplies that are going to be used and make sure all the supplies for the project have been bought. The Design Engineer uses creative thinking to come up with a plan that would get the process done by using different lines. However, they were not allowed to use a straight line. The girls had to have at least three turns in their project. Both the Production Manager and the Quality Inspector tested the water flow and made sure there were no leaks in the lines. Then each girl had a turn in their group to pedal the bike, which generated the water, which you can view at the end of the article.
After they completed this project, the girls were also taken to the Mine Simulation Lab and the AIT Lab, to show them other tech programs they can look into.
If you need more information about the Girls in Engineering and Technology Program, you can contact the Work Solutions office at Madisonville Community College at (270)821-2250. You can also visit the offices located on 2000 College Drive here in Madisonville.
Photos and Video Provided by Amber Mena
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