Home Groveland Bagnall Elementary School Engages Whole Community With Design and Engineering Expo

Bagnall Elementary School Engages Whole Community With Design and Engineering Expo

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MIT student Joshua Verdejo teaching and creating electric circuits with Bagnall sixth grade student Ian Anderson. (Courtesy Photo Bagnall Elementary School)

GROVELAND — At its first Design and Engineering Expo, Bagnall Elementary School united people of all ages from several communities around science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM).

“The close knit community of Groveland is one of my favorite things about being the principal of Bagnall,” Principal Emily Puteri said. “Seeing so many people in our community interested in what we’re doing was a really proud moment for all of us.” 

Approximately 200 students, parents and residents of surrounding towns participated in the Jan. 19 expo, which featured innovators, makers, artists and engineers who showcased their work and gave attendees a chance to explore a variety of STEAM projects. 

Some of the work on display included Pentucket Regional High School student Emily Stys’ project on animal prosthesis created with 3D printing, PRMS student Nicole Zahornasky’s hydraulic arm that she created, Bagnall sixth grader Colton Scally’s representation of a working record player and fifth grader Micheal Doucette’s working dirt bike. The expo also gave Bagnall students a chance to see how the school’s community garden is put to use by cafeteria staff who use the produce to prepare school lunches each day.

“I decided that we needed an event that would inspire our students to become active and excited about their learning at Bagnall,” Bagnall STEAM Coordinator Brooke Welch said. “As a community, it is important to celebrate each other’s successes and failures, learn from one another and share experiences within our district and surrounding communities. The driving force behind the expo was to establish a maker community and to include the families of Bagnall in our shared vision.”

Principal Puteri said she only heard one complaint about the expo, which came from a second grade student who wished the Friday evening event could have lasted longer. 

“It was just so nice to see our teachers and students in a different light, and have parents and their kids being engaged together,” Principal Puteri said. “It was really nice for kids to be able to make real world connections to what they’re doing in school.” 

The expo included exhibitors from MIT, Code and Circuit and a group representing First Robotics. Also among the presenters were:

  • Allegro Microsystems: Christopher Carnie
  • Environmental Engineering: Paula Morse
  • Organic Farming: Doug Morse
  • Pottery: Chris Brennan and Lindsey Laudenslauger
  • Science on the Street: MIT Branch
  • The Whalemobile: Cydne McInnis
  • Squishy Circuits: Kelsey Hicks

Students, parents and even community members who don’t have a formal connection to Bagnall were also able to spend the evening making electrical circuits, creating flying devices and developing a stronger understanding of coding and robotics.

“My children were inspired, as they had face to face conversations with creative and innovative community members that volunteered at the event,” said Kim Dowling, president of the Bagnall Education Foundation (BEF). “It linked the STEAM curriculum that the students are learning with real world examples of how it can be applied.”

The expo was made possible by the generous support of BEF and the Bagnall PTA.

Welch and Puteri are looking forward to planning future Design and Engineering Expos, as well as additional events that will give the whole community a chance to participate and further their learning.

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