Program brings hands-on learning to Shaler Area

| Wednesday, March 19, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Students at Shaler Area High School worked alongside engineers from Westinghouse Electric Company in a special event designed to highlight science, technology, engineering and math.

Six engineers from Westinghouse Electric Company's N-Vision community outreach program team spent March 13 talking to and working with 25 Shaler Area students in ninth through 11th grade about careers in engineering and challenging them to use problem-solving skills through hands-on activities.

“We want to get kids interested in science and engineering and realize there are careers out there,” said Doug Weed, an engineer in document management at Westinghouse.

“We need the engineers. It's easy to talk about a better future, but someone has to build it.”

Students learned about 10 engineering disciplines and what they can do in high school and college to help prepare them for a field in engineering.

Students also participated in a marble transportation challenge, which got students to work as a team to transport marbles around a horseshoe shape with plastic chutes and then worked in pairs to build a Lego structure with one partner blindfolded and the other giving directions.

The event is in line with Shaler Area's new initiative to incorporate additional science, technology, engineering, arts and math, or STEAM, into the curriculum and opportunities for cross-curricular projects.

“I think this is the start of organizing how that looks and to incorporate STEAM based curriculum,” said Paul Stadelman, a math teacher, who worked with Kate Elder in the gifted and talented education department to bring the Westinghouse team to the high school.

“We're really trying to be in the forefront and pioneer a program for students in this district.”

Bethany Hofstetter is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6364 or

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