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ESCO Engages

How Engineering Companies can Help Make STEM fun​

by Anna Thames | February 21, 2018

As one of the leading engineering companies in the world, ESCO is dedicated to expanding student interest and access to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education. But, with all of the noise and distraction in the world, how do we cut through the chaos and encourage students to engage with STEM education tools?

We need to make STEM fun.​

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​Educators across the country are turning to various products and tools to help get students excited about STEM topics. Instead of simply teaching them to memorize multiplication tables, chemical formulas, and the fundamentals of physics, teachers are using new and innovative technologies that encourage creative thinking about engineering, computers and building projects.

Engineering companies too are turning to innovative resources to make STEM learning fun for children of all ages. Microsoft recently released its new take on the classic Oregon Trail computer game, “The Oregon Trail Experience,” combining the imaginative world of Minecraft with subjects about STEM, humanities and the fine arts. Taking gamers through challenges along the journey from Missouri to the Willamette Valley, the game includes lessons about how to create a floating device to cross a river or use physics concepts, such as buoyancy and weight. Other companies have developed programming that works in partnership with K-12 STEM education, such as Intel’s annual International Science and Engineering Fair, the world’s largest international pre-college science competition.

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Here at ESCO, we work on a smaller scale, but our impact is broad. In recent years we have welcomed younger students to ESCO’s Take Your Child to Work Day—we host an engaging, hands-on experience for our employees’ children, introducing them to the foundry floor and our innovation center, to learn what it’s like to work at a world-class engineering company. ESCO’s casting booth also prompts many questions from bright and eager students about the science and art of the metal casting process. We bring this activity straight to local science fairs, classrooms and community events, like the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry Maker Faire.

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ESCO enjoys its partnership with the Beaver racing teams of Oregon State University, the alma mater of many current and former ESCO employees. Each year students meet with our engineers and get feedback on their designs ahead of their racing competition season. This is a fun and engaging way for ESCO to build and support student interest as they prepare to pursue careers in STEM.

Learning about STEM can be fun. But engineering companies like ESCO must continue to lead the way for programming to get students involved, not only to develop a sustainable workforce for our own companies, but also for the future of our industries.

ESCO is always looking for new ways to create meaningful STEM experiences within our community. ESCO’s casting booth is a fun activity to have at your next community event. Our engineers would be delighted to design an engineering challenge customized for your science class. Or maybe you would like to bring your group of students in for a foundry tour. We would love to hear from you. Contact us at news@mail.weir

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