Young Innovators Tower Above the Imagination

By Brigida Sanchez This year more than 600 Middle and High School students from the Walla Walla Valley participated in the Corps’ Engineer Week or EWeek competition entitled “Towering above the Imagination.” The Corps traditionally celebrates National Engineer Week in […]

By Brigida Sanchez

This year more than 600 Middle and High School students from the Walla Walla Valley participated in the Corps’ Engineer Week or EWeek competition entitled “Towering above the Imagination.”
The Corps traditionally celebrates National Engineer Week in February, and Army Captain Brent Vance of the Walla Walla District was the brain behind this local competition.

“It was an interesting process because each year we try to find a competition that is going to be challenging enough, yet simple enough so that everyone can understand the rules and have a fair playing field,” he said. “The idea to construct towers came off the internet. We looked at past year’s competitions and what we had tried before, and though we liked what we had done in the past, this year we wanted something fresh.”

Many schools welcomed the Corps Engineers back to facilitate student ideas with engineering principles and challenged them with concepts such as tension, compression, arm balance loads, material conservation, height, weight, aesthetics, and innovation.
Their goal – develop a tower that could hold the most tennis balls.
Towers constructed out of paper, tape, creativity and lots of patience gave way to designs of many different shapes and sizes as students confronted obstacles in a variety of ways:
Some rolled paper into tubes and attached a crochet hook while others loaded up on tape.
Regardless of the obstacles, these novice engineers were undaunted and confronted the paper tower challenge with audacity.

Nate Boggs and teammates Andrew and Samuel realized that they had been wasting paper and tape when trying to reinforce their structure. “We barely had enough to finish it actually, and we overcame it by taking another piece of paper and placing it in between.”

The students persevered notes Ms. Emily Larson, a Biology teacher at De Sales High School.
“They were challenged, and it was fun as a teacher to see those gears turning and watching the students think through problem-solving and how they can make sure their tower is strong and efficient.”

“Towering above the Imagination” is what Walla Walla Valley students did, surpassing the expectations that these young innovators set for themselves. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers understands that what may appear to be a local effort regarding community outreach has a global impact when it comes to building and caring for our infrastructure.
The Corps of Engineers’ mission is dedicated to serving the Nation and thinking of creative ways to engage students in STEM subjects; maintaining America’s historical preeminence in the STEM fields is critical to our future.
For more information about National Engineers Week, go online to www.discovere.org. To learn more about the Corps of Engineers and its mission in the Walla Walla District, go to www.nww.usace.army.mil.

Student Rutendo Taruwinga of Rogers Adventist School in Walla Walla, WA. Participated in the weighing down the paper tower with tennis balls for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, EWeek Competition “Towering above the Imagination.” Students throughout, Walla Walla, College Place and Pendleton, Middle and High Schools participated in the Corps competition from February 20th to the 26th engineers from Corps districts were in classrooms to introduce engineering concepts to students and teachers, using hands-on projects to connect them to real-world careers in STEM. The Corps of Engineers’ mission is dedicated to serving the Nation. EWeek is one of many opportunities that the Corps takes to give back to the community and its’ future. — at Rogers Adventist School.

Student Rutendo Taruwinga of Rogers Adventist School in Walla Walla, WA. Participated in the weighing down the paper tower with tennis balls for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, EWeek Competition “Towering above the Imagination.” Students throughout, Walla Walla, College Place and Pendleton, Middle and High Schools participated in the Corps competition from February 20th to the 26th engineers from Corps districts were in classrooms to introduce engineering concepts to students and teachers, using hands-on projects to connect them to real-world careers in STEM. The Corps of Engineers’ mission is dedicated to serving the Nation. EWeek is one of many opportunities that the Corps takes to give back to the community and its’ future. — at Rogers Adventist School.

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