Hanover elementary school, VCU team up for Innovation Day

Positively Richmond

HANOVER COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Battlefield Park Elementary School and Virginia Commonwealth University teamed up to host Innovation Day. 

Students and staff from VCU’s College of Engineering gave kids a lesson in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). 

The event took place at BPES on March 28, with activities designed for pre-kindergarten through 5th-grade students.

VCU staff inspired children to problem solve, work together and try new ideas.

One BPES student, Kenleigh, says Innovation Day is fun because they get to learn how things like prosthetics, work to help others. She says it even made her want to pursue a career in the STEM field.

“I always like creating,” Kenleigh said. “My sister and I like to do a lot of stuff, like play outside, so this is really fun.”

It also encourages students to pursue careers in the diverse field of engineering.

Hanover County Public Schools says it was a highlight of the school year.

Jackie McCaleb, Battlefield Park Elementary School principal, said she wants students to take away that it’s fun to actually learn and the effort behind engineering. 

“Our big focus is how engineers have to try multiple times to be successful,” McCaleb said. “We also spoke with VCU about the diversity of engineers and that anyone can be an engineer. So VCU brought a variety of different people to show that anything you can dream, you can achieve.”

It’s the second year school partnered with VCU.

Jenilee Stanley-Shanks, with VCU’s College of Engineering, said, “kids are natural engineers. So the best part about elementary school is that they haven’t lost it yet. They want to solve problems, they want to be creative. They like not having a lot of instruction, and being able to figure out something their own way.”

Pre-K students did a marble run activity, first graders used moon craters to learn about density and gravity, and second graders created holograms.

Third graders built rockets, and fourth graders learned about robotic hands.  

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