On January 23rd, Granby Memorial Middle School celebrated STEAM Day (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics). The day was an opportunity for all the middle school students to enjoy an opportunity to work in collaborative multi-grade groups.
A new STEAM Day event this year was a visit from The PlastiVan™ sponsored by Dri-Air Industries, Inc of East Windsor, CT and the Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS). The PlastiVan™ is a “laboratory on wheels”, managed by the Society of Plastics Engineers Foundation, that teaches people of all ages about the chemistry, history, processing, environmental issues and social impact of plastics. The PlastiVan™ is funded by local plastics companies and organizations to visit Middle Schools, High Schools and other groups interested in learning about plastics and manufacturing.
Approximately 150 eighth graders watched and listened to PlastiVan™ teacher Eve Vitale, a Mechanical Engineer, demonstrate the science of plastics in the science rooms at Granby Memorial Middle School. Utilizing the science skills they have already learned in school, the students were able to perform experiments exploring the theory and science of plastics. In addition to the science of plastics, Eve put an emphasis on subjects such as the need for more female engineers and plastics recycling.
“It was a true honor to show our area students the impact of plastics in our lives. Plastics is not only a product, but an industry that can be exciting and fun” said Jason Sears, VP of Operations, Dri-Air Industries, Inc. “There are many career opportunities, locally and globally, in plastics available for these students and it is necessary for our industry to take an active role in bringing it to the students.”