Skip To Main Content

STEM Week 2019

Every year, Solebury School's math and science departments celebrate the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math by hosting STEM-related events, activities, and guest speakers. The week is meant not only to engage the entire school with those subjects, but also to inspire thinking about STEM-related careers. Seniors: If you are interested in pursuing a potential Senior Project with any of our STEM guests, please follow up with Math Dept. Head Britta Milks or Science Dept. Head Cari Nelson.
 

Sunday, October 20

The RoushYates Engines Arrive

RoushYates Engines is the exclusive engine builder to Ford Performance for the Monster Energy Nascar  Cup Series, Nascar Xfinity Series, IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship, IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge, and the FIA World Endurance Championship. Two of their engines — an FR9 engine and an Ecoboost engine — were on display in the Athletic Center during Open House and then moved to the Performing Arts Center for the rest of STEM Week.


Monday, October 21

Our Forensics class took a field trip to the Philadelphia Insectarium and Butterfly Pavilion where they got a close look at a variety of critters. Those brave enough even held some! 

Biology classes were joined by Francis Collins and Carol Cope of the Primrose Creek Watershed Association to assess the biodiversity in the creek. Some of the macroinvertebrates found were a dragonfly nymph, scud, whirligig beetle, riffle beetle and a lot of left handed snails. Students also checked the pH levels of the creek which were found to be 7. 

Veterinarian Dr. Ted Robinson spoke to students about the path to becoming a veterinarian and his experiences in the profession. He answered dozens of questions about the different animals he has treated, sharing information about surgeries he's completed and exotic animals he's helped. Students also viewed a brief video about the Native American Veterinary Services (NAVS), which Dr. Robinson founded in 2001. 

Students skyped with Eric Miller, an aviation consultant with Kitty Hawk, a company that is working to "create the next generation of vehicles for everyday flight" -- i.e. flying cars. An expert skydiver and base jumper, Eric was hired by the tech company not for his science background (he doesn't have one), but for his expertise with parachutes. It was a fascinating and animated talk about the future of transportation, the benefits of taking risks, and the importance of understanding physics when calculating freefalls. Wondering what flying cars are like? Check out www.kittyhawk.aero.

 

Tuesday, October 22

Physics students had the exciting opportunity to take apart a RoushYates Ecoboost engine and then rebuild it! This engine is used in street cars for road racing and in 24 hour long races. The other engine the team brought with them was the FR9, which is the engine used for NASCAR. Later that afternoon, Doug Yates P'20 gave a presentation and spoke to students during assembly about his time racing and building his company RoushYates Engines. He showed videos that demonstrated how they test the engines and short clips of races. His passion for his work shined through as he answered many questions about this industry. 

 

Wednesday, October 23

Karen McKenna P'11, MBA, RPh, talked with Chemistry and Biology students about her journey in the pharmaceutical industry. During this informative discussion about the wide-ranging options that a career in pharma can offer, Karen helped students understand what it takes to get a pharmaceutical degree and the multiple ways it can be applied (cold chain supply logistics engineering, anyone?). 

At our weekly school wide assembly, we had two great student presentations. First Ben Bunting '20 shared his experience during a three week trip to N/a'an Ku Se Wildlife Sanctuary this past summer as part of a conservation program with National Geographic. Next, Christian Yates '20 shared his archaeology adventures over the past few years on his digs in Spain, Greece, and Belize. Both enthusiastically answered questions about their encounters/finds.

 

Thursday, October 24

ER Physician Linda Chaille-Arnold P'20 works at Temple University Hospital - Episcopal Campus. Dr. Chaille-Arnold gave a presentation on the schooling required to become a physician, the different types of jobs available in medicine, the kinds of patients and injuries that she treats every day in the ER, and ultimately, why she truly loves her work. 

 

Friday, October 25

Sarah Dohle, PhD Delaware Valley University Plant Science Division, spoke about how biodiversity is important in agriculture, crop uniformity, ways to prevent waste, and her experience with conventional plant breeding. She walked students through the process of breeding squash and peppers and even brought in a successful cross between two of the hottest peppers in the world that she had bred herself. Everyone had the opportunity to try these peppers along with a more mild variety. Do you think you could stand the heat? 

Honors Chemistry and Statistics classes created logic puzzles to demonstrate algebraic thinking and create systems of equations. The students worked in groups and used various candy pieces to create sets of equations where the specific candy represented a specific number. The groups then shared their sets of equations or puzzles with other groups to see if they were able to solve the puzzles and figure out the value for each specific type of candy used in the puzzle.

Jamie Arnold, of Folk City Roasters, gave a terrific presentation on how he got into coffee roasting and his past 10 years of being in the industry. He demonstrated to the AP Chemistry class how to brew the perfect cup of coffee by brewing two batches during his presentation. One was made using distilled water, and the other with water that had magnesium sulfate, calcium citrate and sodium chloride added to it. Everyone had the chance to sample the coffee and see if they noticed a difference between the two.  

 

School-Wide Event

Every year, Solebury School comes together for a school-wide STEM event on the final day of STEM Week. This years event was a scavenger hunt! Advisories worked together to answer STEM related questions and based on the answer to the question, they knew where to go next. For example, find the sum of the atomic numbers of all the noble gases. Then prime factor that number. How many prime factors does it have? Call it z, and head to room Abbe-z. Each team completed 12 stages then were challenged to build a paper airplane. Their scores improved based on how far the plane flew. Britta Milks' advisory group was the winner with Michelle Gavin's advisees coming in second. Great job everyone and thanks to everyone who made this a fantastic STEM Week!

After the school-wide STEM event, students were surprised to see that Chapman Ford had brought a Ford, Tesla, and Jeep for everyone to sit in and take pictures with! 
 

STEM Week Photos