Competition Drives Innovation – Why Science Matters FULL PROGRAM


(uplifting music) – The world of work.
– The world of work. – [Tanya] The opportunity
for men and women. – [Student] To put their skills to work. – [Group] In satisfying careers – [Student] Contributes to the quality of life for all people. – The dignity of work has always been part of the American story. (uplifting music) – [Eric] Classrooms that connect learning with real work experiences. – [Eric and Isabel] Give
students the opportunity. – [Isabel] To explore
vibrant career fields. – [Group] And define areas of interest. – [Instructor] In which
they can make an impact in the real world.
– In the real world. – [Jon] In the real world. – You want to feel like
you’ve made a difference. I think that’s a fundamental human need. – [Kate] In a working class,
history provides clues for solving present-day challenges. – [Instructor] Math explains
the mystery behind technology. – We need individuals with
strong math and science skills. We need individuals that
can operate in a team, and we need individuals
with technical skills. – [Tanya] And lessons in communication. – [Eric] Can help us to work together to build rich and rewarding lives. – Rich and rewarding lives.
– Rich and rewarding lives. – People who make things are necessary. (upbeat music) – [Student] Students and faculty. – [Kirk] Can find passion and purpose. – Where real lives intersect.
– Where real lives intersect. – [Group] In a real working class. – [Instructor] In a real working class. – Working class.
– Working class. – Working class.
– Working class. (uplifting music) (upbeat music) – [Chloe] That second those lights flash it’s a little bit of here we go again, oh, my gosh, it’s gonna happen. – [Kelly] This process of working through something and
analyzing is gonna be a skill that you’re gonna need forever. (upbeat music) – [Jon] That cultural thing of, like, “Females aren’t doing engineering, “they aren’t doing mathematics,”
to me it’s just ridiculous. (lively music) – [Rick] Just look around,
look at your clothing, look at everything you
touch on a daily basis. Someone is making these products. Robots have kind of taken
place of the unskilled labor, but we still need the skilled technicians. – So, we’re makin our slime.
(lively music) – [Eric] As I look back I
think, I like the scientists who were trying to stretch
the ideas of their day. (students exclaiming) – Students learn by doing, and
in the science side of things there’s so much they can do. (lively music) (dramatic music) I’m Dr. David Richards and
I’m a physics professor at Penn College and I also teach astronomy and a course called the
Science of Space Flight. When you’re designing
and building a robot, or any type of machine,
the physics is crucial because it explains the torque and the work and the energy and
the power and the electrical. So, it combines all those ideas into one. (dramatic music) – [Announcer] And three, two, one! Fight, robots, fight! – [David] They recently
had a robotics competition on campus here and I took my kids ’cause they thought it was awesome to see these robots battling each
other and sparks flying. It was interesting as I watched because you could see a lot of physics, the low center of gravity
and the simple lever and just a ramp to be
able to flip something up and spinning objects. I mean, if you look at the technology that’s involved with the robot, it’s all based on basic
fundamental principles of motion, force, torque and energy. And so, you can’t touch something without it touching you, right,
that’s Newton’s Third Law. And those things are in constant contact and trying to fling ’em
and trying to break them. So, yeah, you’re in
constant and reaction mode with the battle bots, it’s a great summary of Newton’s three laws of
force and motion and inertia. It brings all those ideas into one. So, you can make a prediction
on how it should work, but other people are
trying to do the same. It’s interesting when they battle because you wanna see whose
design is gonna work the best. (dramatic music) (driving techno music) Science is built upon a foundation of other people’s work
and their experiments, and you have to be able
to repeat the experiment and you have to be able to verify it and validate the experiment. That’s the power of science because you can rely
on other people’s work and you can repeat it. The history behind that
is very fascinating and learning the people that came up with the first experiment on
finding the electron charge, or the scientist behind them and their life and time is amazing. It brings it all together, it brings the practical theory along with the people that discovered it and how they discovered it into a bigger theory or a law, eventually. Wernher Von Braun who was
a famous rocket scientist, when he was a child he said, “I wanted to learn how rockets worked,” but when he went to the books,
it was all math and physics. He went to his teacher and said, “Look, I need to know how this works,” and he was only in 7th or 8th grade. And students do the same, I have students that are always trying to connect the dots and figure out how the physics relates to their major. Physics is built upon kind
of a hierarchy of knowledge. So you have to understand
force to understand work, and you have to understand
work to understand energy, and you have to understand
energy to understand power, so you just have to start off with basics. Sometimes you wanna jump in
with the most interesting stuff, the quantum physics and that thing to really get the students interested, but at the same time, you can’t just jump into something without
giving them a fundamental, basic understanding of the
terms that you’re gonna use and how it all comes together. Physics is the study of the natural world, it studies how nature
works without getting into the living things, living organisms. And it goes to the basic idea of what is the observable universe? How do we know what is out there? It’s not just hypothetical
or theoretical constructs of your own opinion, it’s based on data and analysis and other people’s findings. So, it gets to the core
of how people should think about how nature works and
not just what they feel. There’s basically two things
in nature, matter and energy. Matter is the substance and energy is the driver of that substance, so, physics looks at how
those two things interact. What is matter? Well, matter is the substance
that makes up everything. I mean, if you look at
the world around you, what is it made of? If you break an object in
half and then in half again, and half again, is there a limit to how far you can break it down into smaller and smaller pieces? Energy’s this nebulous thing that’s hard for people to grasp. You can’t create energy,
it’s always transformed from one form to another to another. We don’t really lose
it, it’s just converted. There are many people that
have tried to invent machines that will give you more
workout than you put into it, but it turns out that if you
go to this fundamental law, it’ll save you a lot of time later. Because, as far as we know at this point, energy’s conserved, you
just can transform it but you can’t create or destroy it. And it’s that constant
transformation of matter and energy that gives us the ability to control it, but also to understand how it all works. – [Interviewer] What’s the most fun part of this kind of project for you? – Definitely the day of competition. Day of competition. It’s goin’ in there and seeing it perform. It’s just kinda like that moment where all your hard work pays off and it’s like, “I actually did this.” – [Narrator] Chloe Sees is a senior at Warrior Run High School
in Turbotville, Pennsylvania. She’s part of a growing pastime that brings math and science together in a competitive arena, Battle Robots. Robot competitions gained popularity with the Battle Bots television
program launched in 2000. Today, students are
involved in local, regional and national bot competitions. – The actual whole idea
of combative robots is not just the event, the event is fun but the event is the end of the lesson, it’s to test what you’ve built. – [Narrator] Kirk Marshall is
a technology education teacher at Bloomsburg Area High School. He founded the Rage in the
Cage competition in 2012 so that area teams could
compete without the high cost of traveling to far away competitions. He’s witnessed the growth of the sport, as well as the learning that takes place with the students that compete. – As soon as you throw that, “Hey, there’s gonna be a
trophy comin’ at the end,” or, “You’re gonna compete
against somebody else,” kids get excited, it doesn’t
really matter who you are. When kids see it as a reward to be smart, now we’re rewarding the people that really deserve to be rewarded. – [Announcer] Now we’re
fightin’, robots, fight! – A combative robot is a robot that has offensive capabilities
and defensive capabilities. In this particular case, all the robots weigh 15 pounds or less. We want to basically inflict all our offensive capabilities
into the other machine, whether that means lifting
it up off its wheels or possibly hitting it hard
enough that parts fly off. All of those are good things. At the end of the match,
which is three minutes long, judges either determine
who is the most aggressive, the most strategy and
also the most destruction. Adding those scores up, they
determine who’s the winner. If you are lucky enough, you
can knock the opponent out and the match is over a little bit sooner which is probably the best way of doing it ’cause you don’t wanna leave
a decision up to judges. (audience applauding) When I was a kid, before
I’d throw something away, I would tear it apart and then throw the individual pieces away. I’d wanna know what made this thing work? The kids don’t necessarily
have that skill anymore, they’re not as involved
in actively building and constructing items, sort of, in the garage or in the basement. So, you have to sort of break down that boundary that they can do things. (lively music) (machine humming) – [Student] Yeah, that was our spare, I made that to be a spare. (lively music) – This robotics program really helps them in all academic areas,
whether it be communicating, in math, in science because
they are applying it while they’re building the robot, while they’re testing the robot and pretty much all the way through. The hands-on learning,
the problem-solving skills that they’re picking
up, it’s second to none. – I didn’t know how to use much of the machines back there, but now I do. (lively music) – We had to pretty much
take this entire bot apart and we had to remake everything because it was all damaged
and messed up from last year. – The first time we saw it do anything, it’s got more power than I thought it did. – Last year, the weapon
didn’t spin as fast, now it’s a lot faster. – Last year, was like 1:5 gear ratio, and now it’s just 1:1,
so it spins a lot faster, a lot more inertia so
it’s lookin’ a lot better than it did last year. – Warrior Run took sort of a leap of faith and now they’re seven robots
strong and they’re impressive, they’re layin’ down the law
out there and that’s cool. (crowd exclaiming) I recognize a lot of their faces and you see some of the kids competing and you realize, “I saw them
when she was a sixth grader,” and now she’s in high school, that’s fun. (crowd cheering)
(metal banging) – I would have to say, from experience, about 50% of it is your
design in your actual bot. The other 50% is the actual driver and the maneuvering and everything. I mean, you could have
the best bot in the world but if it just sits there in the center, it has its weaknesses. Every bot has a weakness
and if you can figure out how to exploit your opponent’s
weakness, you will win. It’s all about strategy,
being able to maneuver, being comfortable with your bot. You can’t go in there and be afraid, “Oh, I don’t wanna do
this, I could get torn up, “I could get smashed.” You just need to go in there 100% and hope you come out on top. (crowd exclaiming) – [Announcer] Oh, yes, we got a tap out! Fight, robots, fight! – [Kirk] If you have a student that is really well versed in physics, they have a definite
advantage in designing. So, it is just a great
opportunity to tie physics and the real world together. – [Kurt] It’s interesting when they battle because you wanna see whose design’s best. But it does come down to the design and the physics behind the design. (crowd exclaiming) (dramatic music) – Manufacturing’s a passion for me because it really makes a
difference in this country. It really is what builds
playgrounds and communities. It is the individuals employed in manufacturing that make a difference. We also, traditionally, have higher wages and better benefits, it’s
a great career pathway. Most people don’t understand
those opportunities. The average American thinks manufacturing is really important. If they had 1,000 jobs come
into their communities, they’d want those jobs
to be manufacturing jobs. Yet, three-out-of-10
parents would encourage their kids into careers in manufacturing. I think that really is at the root of the public perception problem, it’s understanding that
we, first and foremost, do still make things in this country. In fact, we make a lot
of really great things. We make the cars you drive
in, the airplanes that you fly and the medicines that save your life. So, manufacturing really
is centered on innovation and technology, and most
people don’t understand that. (techno dance music) – [Rick] Just look around,
look at your clothing, look at everything you
touch on a daily basis. Whether it’s plastic or metal, it’s the production of every material object
that you can think of. Someone is making these products. – [Narrator] Rick
Hendricks has been teaching for over 25 years and has
witnessed a major shift in the manufacturing industry. – The evolution of the
manufacturing industry is really, it’s beyond what you even imagine. When you talk about how
we perceive manufacturing, I still think of those black
and white wartime films, where you see people on production lines and you see sparks flying in a foundry. It was very dangerous and
it was very unappealing. So now, most manufacturing
environments are very clean, very well organized. The technology has just evolved, and along with that the quality of work in the manufacturing
sector is really improved. – I often hear what I
refer to as the three D’s, dark, dirty and dangerous. And when I talk to communities
about manufacturing, I really talk about
innovation and the three P’s, it’s about the products we create, it’s about the innovation
in process that we use and it’s about the people. – [Rick] The reduction
in the workforce needed, obviously with the addition
of technology, robotics and all the automation,
has decreased our workforce in the unskilled labor area, but has kept the skilled labor demand up because we still need skilled people to program those machines and to set up the robots and to maintain ’em. It’s been a shift in skill to operate on the floor of manufacturing. In manufacturing, what has been changed in the last 30 years is the inventory build up. We don’t machine things
and keep them in inventory, inventory cost money. We have these concepts
of lean manufacturing where, when a customer orders,
we make it to their needs. So, the evolution has been
from making thousands of parts down to one and done. Skills needed to enter today’s workforce in the manufacturing sector
have really been scaled up. We need more skilled
trades people in general, doesn’t matter if you’re an electrician, in electronics or mechanic,
machine repair, machinists. We’ve seen such a reduction
of unskilled labor and we’ve seen an increase
in skilled labor demand, due to the technology. – To be competitive in
manufacturing today, you need to have team building
skills and critical thinking. It’s often the individuals
on the frontlines that make the biggest difference and the biggest decisions in
the manufacturing facility. They’re not just thinking
about their frontline job, they’re thinking about
upstream and downstream. And it’s that comprehensive approach to inter-disciplinary
workforce in manufacturing that’s made manufacturing
in this country competitive. – If you’re in the machining
and manufacturing world you wanna take courses such as chemistry and metallurgy if you can. Mathematics, you’re working with geometry and trigonometry and basic
algebra in our field, but even building up to that,
the mathematics helps train your mind to be a trouble-shooter, to be a better problem solver. So, I think generally,
those technical science and mathematics courses are still vital in building a strong mind
just to compete in this area. The equipment, the technology,
auxiliary equipment, your robotics, everything
is just moving so rapidly. (upbeat music) The SAE Baja International competition is a worldwide competition
of engineering schools throughout the country
and throughout the world. You have to be a member of the SAE, Society of Automotive Engineering. It’s a total voluntary process and you can be a welder,
you can be a machinist, you can be industrial design. If you want to be part
of this team, you can be. They design and build a car
around a standard 10-horse power Briggs & Stratton engine,
which can’t be modified. So we have to construct a
frame, gear box, transmission. There’s specifications
that you have to follow, a lot of ’em. This car is build entirely
by the Penn College students except for a few components. They bend the tubes, they weld the frame, they make the spindles and
it is a very time consuming process. But this car, there’s hundreds
of hours of manufacturing, as far as just machining the components. This car is built from the ground up, engineered through
software such as SolidCAM and Inventor and Creo. We’re testing the strength
of certain materials, we’re not just making parts, we’re actually doing structural, finite, element analysis on the functionality and making sure that
things are gonna work. We learned we have to cut some weight. The teams that are
beating us have vehicles that are 50 pounds lighter,
75 pounds lighter than ours. We manufacture, we
assemble, we disassemble, we test this thing out
over and over again. If somethin’ doesn’t work we fix it. This is part of the driveshaft in the car and in the past we made this
out of chrome alloy steel, and this year we machined
them out of titanium and welded everything together. Now we have engineered a driveshaft that is not only about two pounds lighter, but also stronger. The Baja Club also built
their own gear case. Now this gear case, we reduced the weight of this gear case from last
year by about four pounds and we also compacted it. They machined every
part of that gear case, everything you see except the
bolts holding it together. These are some of the
gears that go inside of it, these are made of 4140 steel
that were heat treated. We took a new design that
the student’s designed on SolidWorks, we produced a gear case that is capable of handling
up to 40 horse power and, now we only have 10 horse power, so we kind of over-engineered
it in a smaller package. A machinist touches everything around you at some point in the
manufacturing process. This is manufacturing, this is what manufacturing is all about. – The Baja competition,
some of my students are definitely involved with that and they seem to just light
up if you ask them in class, have them relate
something that they built. That’s hands-on learning
and they’re designing and building something
from scratch basically. And then you get to see it
come together and compete, it’s something that the
students really seem to enjoy. (guitar rock music) – [Narrator] this is the
Baja SAE Endurance Race. Teams compete in a variety
of events over three days. But the Endurance Race is the final test of their design and engineering. For four hours, the cars’ speed, maneuverability and strength are tested. And today, teams had to deal with some not so ideal track conditions. – First couple laps, I
mean, you’re just tryin’ to get a feel for everything,
find your position. And after that, you just
see how far you can push it without breaking it, for four hours. – Once things sort of thin out, then you just need to start turnin’ laps and pushin’ the car a little bit. And then the last parts, you know, the last half an hour or so,
you gotta stay outta trouble. That’s like the home stretch
and you wanna make sure that your race doesn’t end early. – [Johnathan] It was just
a matter of being aware of your surroundings,
bein’ aware of everyone, and sometimes you just had to
bite your lip and take it slow throughout some obstacles in
order to keep the car safe. – Our students have
goals set in the races, they know they wanna beat certain teams. They know they need a lighter car, they know they need a stronger axle. (guitar rock music) – The main difference
between this year’s cars and last year’s is that weight savings, droppin’ like 60 pounds off of the car and that made a huge difference. – [Narrator] The Penn
College team finished in fifth place in the Endurance race and 20th overall out of 107 competitors, their best finish ever. (dramatic music) Curiosity, well, I guess it’s just a natural thing for me to be curious. As a young child, my parent
were somewhat upset with me because they’d give me a toy
and I’d always take it apart and it took me a few years to figure out how to put them back together. So, (laughing) it was a bit
of a frustration for them, but it was my way of learning. In my Material Science
class, we start right at the ground floor and then
by the time they’re done, they’re looking at complex
things like corrosion, the wear that happens
in mechanical systems and all relates back to
the fundamental stuff we did the first few weeks. So we try to apply it as much as we can. And experimentation doesn’t always work, I mean, things fail, they mess up and so you can’t just
sorta sit back and say, “Well, okay, I’m done with
it, I’m not gonna go further.” You just need to be patient and continue to pursue those ideas and see how they lead and
learn from those mistakes. Okay, so what we’re looking at in the microscope today is far smaller. So, I want them to be
curious, even if they’re not, and that natural curiosity
if it can be engendered in some way and increased and encouraged, probably will pay them dividends. Most people that get a job
today are gonna change careers six or seven times,
and a lot of that’s due to the change of technology. So they need to keep
building their skills. It’s good to encourage students
to say, “Take those risks. “If you go into a major
that you just don’t like, “realize it’s not the end of the world.” That you can shift and move
and make a different direction and you learn from that and say, “I don’t like to do those kinds of things. “I thought it was this, but
it’s not that so now what?” And it’s that next step, so it’s the old, journey of 1,000 miles
begins with the first step and you gotta keep steppin’. (upbeat music) – What I want you to do
is watch this screen, this first image is probably– – And then pull that down, this part here and make sure it says pf,
it’s the fourth one of choice. – I hope that this camp was sort of a spark moment for them, that
they had a natural ability they didn’t know about and
something like this camp set that spark off and who knows
what path that may take them? (uplifting music) – [Narrator] Smart Girls
is a summer camp program that was created to counter the academic and social trend of girls shying
away from math and science as they enter adolescence and high school. The camp provides young
females the opportunity to experience math and science as a foundation for careers in technology. – We’re working through a book called What Color is Your Parachute for Teens, and that helps them understand
what their skill sets are, what their passions are,
what kind of work environment they would like to be in
when they become adults. And then the other side of that is the Carnegie Science Center
Mobile Fab Lab is here on campus and they are working through designing and building their drones or quadcopters. – Should be a diagonal,
you should see a vee on the diagonal and an a– – Okay, so it doesn’t
matter which side it is? – No, no, you’re cool. – So, we recognize that girls that are entering middle school tend to shy away from math and sciences and even technologies and engineering. And the ramifications are that they end up in job
positions that are maybe not at the level that they
could be working at. They’re not having the impact on society that they could be having
and even their personal life, they could be living at a higher level. So, we find that it is very important to show them that it’s important and that it’s fun and that it’s a world that they can live in. – I’m really interested in
possibly some engineering career, so I thought it was a
really good camp for me. And I’m a math and science person, so. – I wanna be a software
developer somewhere in computer science, engineering. – I learn more about
engineering and stuff, and I learned that it’s
actually really fun. (laughing) – Well, I really like designing
the frame of the copter and then the laser cutter, it was really cool to see it work. – [Jon] If you rotate them?
– [Isabel] Yeah? – [Jon] You will be
surprised at the amount of airflow that actually go past. Out of all of the different camps and project workshops and
engineering challenges that we run, this is without a doubt, the capstone and most difficult one. – So there it is, go
back and give it a shot, and see what you think. – [Jon] But I think a lot
of them were really good with the CAT design, they can
grasp the computer component, they can get the parts installed, follow the schematics that I gave them on how to build this thing. And when they fire it up,
they’re sort of amazed at how difficult this actually is to fly. I demonstrate for them, like, “Here’s what a quadcopter does.” They think like, “Oh, he
must have just done that, “that’s amazing,” and I tell
them I’ve been doing this for a year, year-and-a-half,
it’s not that easy. – It looked really easy. I play video games a lot,
so I’m used to controllers but this controller is really different from the controllers I use. There was a lot of walking back and forth between the flying room and
the fixing-your-drone room. (students exclaiming) – [Narrator] The campers
designs and flying abilities are put to the test on the
final day of the camp. With family members in attendance, the girls must fly their quadcopters to four separate spots
in a timed competition. (upbeat music) They are also graded on
their copter’s functionality, appearance and perseverance. (crowd exclaiming) (Jon exclaiming)
(student cheering) And for the confident pilots,
there’s a bonus challenge. (student and crowd cheering) – That cultural thing of like, “Females aren’t doing engineering, “they aren’t doing mathematics,”
to me it’s just ridiculous. There were a handful of
students who told me, “I’ve never done this before,”
and I’m watching them like, the old, and then they’re zippin’
and flyin’ around him like I know they are naturally
inclined to do this. And if they just ignore
those cultural norms of whatever they should be
doing or anything like that, they’re going to be what they’re supposed to be doing which is designing machinery, doing biomechanical engineering, doing mechanical engineering,
computer electronics. Because male or female,
everybody has that innate ability to do something and if it’s this and the girls get pushed out of it, it’s just a real shame, it’s a waste. (lively dance music) – The plastics industry is everywhere. If you go through your daily life, whether it’s aerospace,
automotive, packaging, electronics, everything has plastic components to it. And at some point, someone has to dream up those plastic parts, design them, take them into manufacturing,
build molds for them. Every new innovation
has something plastic, so it just infiltrates
every portion of our lives. – [Narrator] Tim Weston
developed the curriculum for the Penn College
Plastics program in the 1980s to fill a need in the
growing plastics industry. He then became the
program’s first instructor. – Industry was a real important part of what we did back then, industry’s a big part of what we do now. Eventually, they said, “Hey,
you’re doin’ a great job “with the two-year program,
how ’bout a four-year program?” Eventually, they said we need help with projects and training,
so we built something that is now the Plastics
Innovation and Resource Center. A lot of that was driven by industry and they said, “Here’s
our ideal employee.” And that ideal employee is
able to think through problems and be a problem solver. – [Instructor] Remember, pitch goes from the front to the front end. – [Tim] To do that, sometimes you have to have some hands-on skills, you have to be able to
roll up your sleeves and go do it to be a problem solver. Sometimes, that requires
a little bit of math, sometimes that requires
a little bit of science, but you really have to
know how things work. And that’s really all
math and science are is, how do things work? (upbeat music) – We are at Pennsylvania
College of Technology, we’re sitting in the Extrusion Lab of the Plastics Department
and we’re talking with members of the faculty. – Plastics is the third largest manufacturing industry in the country. Most people don’t realize that just because they see plastic everywhere but think of industry as the automotive or electronics, consumer products, toys, those kinds of things and don’t realize that there’s an industry behind that that’s manufacturing these products. – Plastics, traditionally
as we think of them, were created in the late 1800s, but the industry really took off actually during and
shortly after World War II. So, you think about the
scope of other industries, steel and other things
that have been around quite a while, plastics
is still in its infancy. The other cool thing about plastics is it’s so broad, there’s so many
different types of plastics and so many different
applications for using them. (techno pop music) Where I see the industry
heading is utilizing things like 3-D printing to help get other products to market fast. Historically, in
industries like automotive, the process from concept into getting into production has taken
quite a while, years in fact. I think that customers
are wanting things faster and faster and faster, and they
want it with better quality. That’s where I see the industry heading, and I think having a degree in plastics engineering
technology can help you because somebody’s gotta be
making a decision in innovating and figuring out how to make that happen. (techno pop music) (somber music) – I have the honor of teaching our Sustainable Materials class. In that class we talk about
what is the Green Movement, what types of myths and truths there are to the plastics industry. The greening of the
industry is essentially, kind of what’s happened
with all of the industries as they’ve begun to grow. So, the beginning of steam
power, metal, all of that, all of the Industrial
Revolution, essentially, with all of their emissions they made, over the years to bring that down. Since the plastics industry’s so young, we’re kind of reaching
that industrial revolution where we’re kind of startin’ to realize, “Hey, maybe we shouldn’t
make all these parts “if we don’t have a way to recycle them “or do something with them “besides putting them in a landfill.” (somber music) – As designers and
engineers, we can think about the behavior of what people are gonna do and say, “Okay, I’m gonna make
the smallest impact possible “because I’m gonna design this part “that when they’re done,
they can just take it “put it right in one bin,
it goes into a machine “and gets recycled easily.” We try to kind of teach that philosophy that don’t just think
about how do you take the pellets and make the part, what happens when that
part’s life is over? – People will say, “Can you
make it more recyclable, “can you make it a more
sustainable, sourced material?” And I always tell them,
“There is no one on the planet “that has a bigger vested interest “in doing that than
the plastics industry.” We care because it is what we do. We frequently tell students
who are looking at the program, “You’re the one who’s gonna
provide that solution. “If you want to do something that is good “for the environment and
is kind to the environment, “jump on board and figure
what that solution is.” (upbeat music) – I attribute a lot of my
passion for math and science to one, having really great teachers through elementary and middle school that really instilled that
passion for math and science. But also, just from a personal standpoint, Legos are great for people
who can conceptualize with their mind and their hands, just to build things and
kind of see how they work. (upbeat music) – [Narrator] Firetree Place,
a youth community center in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, strives to build stronger communities through education, recreation,
art and social programs. These elementary and
middle school students are participating in the Lego Magic Club. Using Legos as learning tools, the students’ creative thinking and problem solving skills are challenged through a hands-on activity that also teaches basic
computer and coding skills. – [Instructor] And tell me when to stop. – Now. 27. I changed these, when there was two ’cause this one is faster when it’s two. – [Narrator] The goal of the program is to expose students to STEM activities in an engaging and fun way. (upbeat music) – Well, we made a sweeper. I learned that with the skirt in the front, it makes it a lot faster, but this in the front’s
gonna be way slower. So, this here is the most important. (upbeat music) – When they’re young, the
students love science. And I think because these teachers make it so hands-on and they make it so relative and they make it so the students get dirty and they get involved with the science. Then they talk about some of the concepts after the students get involved with it. The elementary school
teachers have it right. And then, things start to change and the curriculum changes
where you’ve gotta shove this content at them, and you gotta make them use the math in
order to understand it and the passion for
learning the science is gone because the students don’t
see the relevance of it. – The great way to
completely turn off a room is to say, “Hey, we’re gonna
talk about chemistry.” But, I have had the experience of bein’ in a classroom
and trying to explain what is happening to individual molecules, explaining to the
students what’s happening with this polymer chain
at the molecular level and see them almost begin to smile as they realize, “Ah,
I see how that connects “to what’s happening as
that bottle’s being blown.” So, the student that get that, they’re so far ahead, they’re
leaps and bounds ahead and they begin to be able
to innovate from there when they start to have the opportunities and the freedom when
they get out in industry. (lively music) – My name is Kelly Butzler,
I teach general chemistry, organic chemistry, forensic science and a Chemistry in Society class. I sit and I talk about
basic concepts in chemistry, and students try to seem interested for my sake to humor me, but I can tell that they
are very, very bored. So when I bring in real life examples, you can see they stop and
they look and they perk up, and then they start
asking me more questions. Chemistry’s a broad scientific field. It’s relevance is in almost every aspect of manufacturing, particularly in plastics and materials manufacturing,
pharmaceutical, it even goes into your
cooking, basic everyday life. I try to bring that into
the classroom when I can. Students always ask me, “Why
do you teach chemistry?” And when I was in high school, I took biology, loved
biology because it’s relevant and you can pick things
up and you can see it and you can touch it and you
can interact with it everyday. And then I took a chemistry class and it wasn’t as exciting for me, but them we did a whole month
on qualitative analysis, and we weren’t lectured to,
it was all hands-on experience and it was so much fun and I loved it. It was almost like a puzzle,
like what is this unknown? Let’s figure out tests to run the unknown and I really loved it. I stress in my classes
the scientific method. I try to remind them that questioning and then doing experiments to see if your question was correct or your hypothesis was
correct is the foundation. Through the process, I teach them what did you do, what
are your observations, what are the results
from that observation? I constantly keep asking them that and I keep asking them to write it down, and I’m hoping by doing that, that when they go into the lab, whether it’s manufacturing lab, or when they become
seniors or do an internship they remember that process
that we went through. That they can start
putting things together and seeing what happens,
but they’ve gotta be really, really careful in making
their observations and recording those observations. – So, we’re making our slime. – [Narrator] This is
Kelly’s daughter, Kate and her friend, Reese. – [Kelly] My daughter,
she loves making slime. She’s got a clandestine
slime lab in her room. She thinks it’s like the
most interesting thing. She’s seeing mixtures of
things and what is the outcome. They’re playing and it’s pretty neat. – First, you gotta make your
activator, which is Borax. It’s one cup to one tablespoon. We’re mixing the Borax powder with the hot water. – Usually your main ingredient’s glue and then you need an activator and you can add in shaving foam. – It was on my recommendation
on YouTube so I watched it. I’m like, “This is so stupid, “why would anyone wanna make this?” And then I watched more YouTube videos and I’m like, “Oh, my
gosh, I wanna make this!” I didn’t know how to make
it, so then I watched more YouTube videos and then
asked my dad for glue. You’re gonna take your glue and I’m going to pour that in, ah! I’m gonna make my glossy slime. – I guess I’ll make fluffy slime first. – And then you’re gonna mix it and then I’m going to activate it. Then, you’re gonna take
your Borax and mix. – I’m now gonna put in shaving foam. – Then you’re gonna knead it. I know, it looks like a mess right now, this is the stressful part. – I’m gonna add in some food coloring, I think I’m gonna make mine purple. – It’s now like getting more formed into slime now. This has PVA and then the Borax has some sort of chemical that reacts with the PVA. Should we rate our slimes? Okay. – So, it actually feels really nice. – I like yours but you
over-activated it a little bit. – Yeah, I over-activated it. Yeah, and usually when you
let it set in the container for a while, it usually gets better. – Overall, I’ll give
this a seven out of 10. – I really like this one, I’d probably give this
like a nine. (laughing) – Thank you. I’m definitely going
into something with STEM. Science, technology, engineering and math, I wanna go something in that. I think science, ’cause I love science. Science is probably one
of my favorite subjects. And boom, you got your slime! (upbeat music) – I had two older siblings
that inspired me a lot. My brother was a tinkerer and
he liked to take things apart and put ’em back together. I remember, I was a young
child, watching him being, “Wow, you can take things apart like that “and find out how it works?” But also, my earliest memories probably go back to the Apollo missions
and sitting around the TV and watching the moon landings, I remember that vividly, with my family. And even up through high school, my sister and I would sit and watch the shuttle launches and thinking, “Wow, that is just awesome,
you can go into space.” Those things inspired me
a lot when I was younger. But then, as I progressed
through high school and in college, I got into
the math and science more. I like to know how things work and it explained how nature worked and I had some really good professors. So I went through a
progression of different topics in different subjects that interested me. But I remember as younger child liking to build things and hands on.
And as I get older, I like the more theoretical side of things. (students exclaiming) The educational data shows
that students learn by doing and the science side of things,
there’s so much they can do. That, making that connection, letting them discover for themselves rather than telling them
exactly what they should know. (dramatic music) I love the student that says,
“I wanna know how that works!” That’s the most rewarding
part of teaching is to see the students take the physics and apply it to their major. (dramatic music) We’re always transforming ourselves and shifting ourselves
from one thing to another, but we’re still the same person. You learn a lot more by
expressing your ideas and working together with
fellow students or teachers, and so, combining that with
the science and technology, the hands on and the competitive nature along with the teamwork,
it’s something that really will bring students and interest students in the sciences and the technology. (uplifting music) – I don’t know where it comes from? It could just be cultural,
it could just be part of this us as a nation has
this weird expectation of perfection from the get-go. Whether it’s social media
or whatever it might be that you see this perfect veneer, the amount of work that it took to get to that perfect veneer
is not often talked about. So I hope the girls can take that and not only apply it to STEM classes they may take in high
school or college or beyond, that they can apply that to other areas of their life as well. That initial failures don’t need to be the end all, learn
from it and move on. – [Rick] The skills that these
students take away with them are extra learning skills
that they’ve gained outside of the classroom. – [Tanya] If you wanna be
successful, be a nerd, be smart, but it’s gonna require some effort. It’s gonna require taking
the difficult classes, it’s gonna require failing sometimes because failure is really
the best way to learn. (uplifting music) – If you give the kid
that tool of education or that tool of knowing
how you can find things, that’s what they need, they need that, just that push across the bridge. Once they’ve gotten on that bridge and they’re walkin’ on their own way, they can take the rest of
their life on their own. (uplifting music) – [Kurt] Keep pushing
yourself and try to understand the basic components of how things work and eventually, depends
on your path in life, but eventually, you’ll get those answers. (uplifting music) (upbeat music)