2018 ANNUAL PI DAY EVENT
WID’s 2nd Annual Pi Day STEAM event on March 14, 2018 promoted the wide range of interesting, high-paying careers available utilizing one or more letters of STEAM – Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math. WID’s interactive program, mixed with a panel discussion, has engaged nearly 200 students since it began in 2017. The purpose of the Pi Day event is to take advantage of a nationally-recognized “Math Day” and engage students in challenging STEAM activities utilizing creative thinking and teamwork, as well as expose students to a variety of career paths available with a STEAM background.
The 2018 Pi Day event took place at the Michigan Science Center in Detroit and involved 110 4th and 5th grade students from four elementary schools. Students gathered in the Toyota Engineering Theater for welcoming remarks by Michigan Science Center President, Dr. Tonya Matthews. Dr. Matthews explained how integrated each of the letters of STEAM work to support the defense industry, from camouflage design to building armored vehicles. Students were then presented with an engineering challenge to work in small teams and design a protective case around an egg that would protect it during a 20+ foot fall. After the challenge, students had the opportunity to hear from six professional women on their educational and career paths in STEAM. Participating companies included BASF, Lucerne International, Esys Automation, GDLS, and Spellbound. Each woman on the panel had incorporated two or more letters from STEAM throughout her career, and students were very engaged in asking questions to the panelists and sharing their own future career goals.
Ret. Colonel Patricia Sellers offered closing remarks on leadership to the students and described her time serving in the US Army in Iraq. With her dress and camouflage uniforms displayed on stage, students had the unique opportunity to learn about the full incorporation of STEAM topics in the defense industry and how each topic contributes to our national defense.