CES fifth graders learned engineering process from Dell Boomi STEM Outreach
five boys at a long table


Colonial Elementary School (CES) students experienced the engineering process by making paper airplanes with the help of STEM Outreach volunteers from Dell Boomi.

The fifth graders took on the roles of developers, testers and the "scrum master" for two sprints of plane building. Each sprint had fixed and optional requirements for the design, including how far the plane should be able to fly, what elements they could use to decorate their plane and aspects of its construction like how long it should be. The children worked as a team to decide what to include in their final product, tested their planes and then had a chance to revise their designs for the second round.

"My favorite part was probably designing and testing them," said CES fifth grader McKenna Winland. "It was fun, and it was a way to learn, too. We've experienced everything you do in the process. You kind of know all of the things you need to do for building something in the future."

By working in teams to design and construct the airplanes, some students saw strengths in their teammates that they hadn't seen through other class projects.

Group of adults posed in front of Colonial banner


"It's fun working together," said CES fifth grader Ryan Pitts. "We all got to see that maybe someone's good at building something and you never knew."

Dell Boomi's STEM Outreach program was designed to bring engineers and project managers into the schools to help the students learn how ideas become products in the workplace. Sometimes those volunteers also grow from the experience.

"I learn from the kids, too," said Navya Gandikota, a Dell Boomi Senior Software Quality Engineer. "We're trained to do things in a certain way. The kids have a different perspective that could completely change your ideas. That's pretty cool."

Would you like to share what your company does and help Colonial School District students experience different careers? Contact Denise Marks, the Curriculum Supervisor for Career Readiness at 610-834-1670, ext. 2151, or email dmarks@colonialsd.org.