Intel Gets Fourth-Graders Thinking

Photo: Ford, Brad

Intel and the Portland Metro STEM Partnership are once again celebrating National Engineers Week by connecting with fourth-grade students in the Hillsboro and Beaverton School Districts to spark their imagination and interest in the STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) fields with an engaging, hands-on activity. 

On Thursday and Friday, February 22 and 23, over 350 Intel volunteers will visit 90 fourth-grade classrooms in the two districts to conduct the Pop Fly activity, which uses the same design thinking and methodology as the world’s top innovators. 

In this activity, students work in small groups with their adult mentors to create a lever that will launch a Ping-Pong ball into the air using paint stirrers, a wooden block, a small paper cup, and duct tape. Students will learn about fulcrums, levers, force, and more in an age-appropriate and accessible manner where everyone can find success. 

Fourth grade is a pivotal time for STEAM learning because research shows that one-third of students lose interest in science by the fourth grade and that a child’s interest in STEAM is largely formed by the time they reach upper elementary and middle school. The same research also finds that early exposure to STEAM, especially for girls, makes students more likely to succeed in science and pursue STEAM fields in college. 

Source: Hillsboro & Beaverton Schools

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