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Elementary Students Work as Optical Engineers in Latest Design Challenge Story

(11/04/2016) - Newport News elementary students learned how to direct a laser beam through a maze to a specific target during the latest engineering challenge held on October 28.

The challenge gave fourth and fifth-grade students the opportunity to learn more about light reflection. Using furnished materials, teams of students representing each elementary school were given the task of designing and building a maze with three obstacles that could direct a laser beam to a target using only reflection.

The design challenge, Maze Craze, was sponsored by Jefferson Lab, a world-leading nuclear physics research facility. Students were given a specified amount of time to brainstorm with their teammates, draft their designs, and build and test their mazes before presenting it to the judges. Student teams earned points based on design, materials used and beam accuracy. The team from Sedgefield Elementary School earned first place; Kiln Creek Elementary School's team took second place and Riverside Elementary School's team earned third place in the Maze Craze challenge.

The Design Challenge is part of the school district's ongoing STEM (science, technology, engineering and math education) initiative.

The student engineers from Sedgefield Elementary placed 1st
Sedgefield Elementary School students earn 1st place in Design Challenge
Kiln Creek Elementary placed second in the Maze Craze Engineering Design Challenge
Kiln Creek Elementary School students earn 2nd place in Design Challenge
Riverside Elementary placed third in the challenge
Riverside Elementary School students earn 3rd place in Design Challenge