Crash Test Dummies, Spacemen, Computer Coders Land At Meadowlawn Launch 

Students get a first-hand look at careers in technology

astronaut at launch

Meadowlawn Intermediate School students on Friday peered through a spaceship door, met a NASA volunteer in a spacesuit, learned computer programming, and got a crash-course in crash test dummies.

It was all part of the Quality of Life Launch, a quarterly program organized by Meadowlawn teachers to provide the students with real-world experiences and spark students’ interests in various careers. 

This Launch program had a heavy emphasis on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). 
Several guests with backgrounds in STEM fields visited the school and shared their experiences with the students. 

Among the guests were Mark Brown and Jon Keck from Humanetics, a Huron-based company that makes crash test dummies to test the safety of automobiles, motorcycles, military vehicles, and an array of other vehicles. (Article continues below photo)

Humanetics crash test dummies

“If you’ve seen a crash test dummy on TV, it probably came from Huron,” Mr. Brown said. 

Students learned what the dummies are made of – metal, plastic, foam, and electronic sensors – and how they are used to test the safety of vehicles and the impact on humans during a crash.

The million-dollar question on the children’s minds? How much the dummies cost. The answer: A child-sized dummy could cost $8,000 to $10,000, and an adult-sized model up to $1 million.

The company has 150 employees – about half of whom have engineering degrees and the rest are a mix of skilled laborers. (Article continues below photo)

computer coding

Meanwhile, in the library, Jessica George taught the students about computer coding. 

“Computer science touches every one of us every day,” said Mrs. George, who is the 4H program assistant at Ohio State University. She explained to the children that next year there will be 1.4 million jobs available for computer coders and there will only be 400,000 people qualified for the jobs. 

“There will be tons of opportunities,” Mrs. George said. 

Using a simple demonstration with dice and a quarter, she showed the students how algorithms work and instruct computers how to function. “Anyone can code,” she said, encouraging them to consider computer programming as a career.

Other sessions for students included a talk by NASA volunteer Gene Zajac about American astronauts and the spacesuits they wear, and a demonstration by Daryl Edwards, a NASA retiree who demonstrated how an airlock on a spaceship works.

Posted by j_stacklin On 29 March, 2019 at 3:55 PM