Gen Z STEM Event
On Oct. 3, 2019, WTS-OC partnered with USC-METRANS to host a bridge building activity as part of its Gen Z STEM event.
The activity was led by Juliet Su, WTS-OC Secretary and Transportation Corridor Agencies’ Director of Design and Construction, and volunteers including USC graduate students and transportation professionals.
Each of the volunteers guided one of the 13 groups, that comprised of six or seven middle schoolers. It was a very engaging activity as each group had to build a bridge from straws to eventually withstand the weight of at least eight juice boxes. As time progressed, the volunteers noticed how the students started to collaborate with each other and how the noise level in the room increased. Participants assigned tasks to one another, from cutting tape to lining up the straws to plans.
As time was running out, some groups came up with creative ideas to reinforce their bases, and some bridges were able to withstand the weight of 20 juice boxes! There were prizes given at the end to all the groups in different categories ranging from first place to most unique.
Overall, the activity was a great success that initiated a spark of interest in STEM for Generation Z.