Every March, the 4th and 5th graders at Sagamore Hills Elementary School conduct a STEM project focused on structural analysis and bridge construction. Teachers Rachael Lambert and Terry High coordinate and direct the project, which is set up as a workshop-style training for approximately 110 students over a period of two-weeks. The students spend the first three days attending orientation, studying structural analysis mathematics, and planning out their time management techniques. These activities start each morning and continue throughout the first three class periods. The students then spend three days designing and building their bridges, while the final day of the project is spent testing every bridge for failure.
For the last several years, Stan Jones, Chief Structural Engineer for Bennett and Pless Engineers here in Atlanta, has led these activities. Mr. Jones has developed and implemented this important training and is returning again this year to help coordinate the project. He also played an integral part in acquiring Sagamore Hill’s STEM certifications. Mr. Jones holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering from Auburn University and a Master’s of Science from Georgia Tech. He’s practiced structural engineering around the globe for the past 40 years.