Friday, March 11, 2016

Brashear Teens: Do you want to build a race car?

Hey guys! Danyelle back again from the Hilltop YMCA with an update from Brashear Teens. This week, Brittany from Alcosan's Scholastic Outreach team joined us to tell us a little bit about Alcosan's work with wastewater treatment and provided STEM programming for our group.

First, Brittany told us a little bit of information about the Alcosan facilities and how waste water is processed and treated. The water starts off as dirty sewer drainage filled with all sorts of gunk in it. The 'junk' is filtered out through a series of segments, including bar screens, grit chambers, and even an airated tank full of micro-organisms!

The jar on the left is waste water before any processing. Gross! The middle jar is the waste product after the water has been filtered. The jar on the right is the filtered water that is returned to our rivers and streams, where it is eventually processed for home use. 

After Brittany explained waste water treatment at Alcosan, we talked about energy and motion. The teens were each given a bag of materials and instructed on how to construct a car to race across the table. We used a rubber band as the propellant and up-cycled CDs as wheels. It was definitely a difficult design/build challenge and not every one was successful, but we all had a great time exploring physics and engineering with Ms. Brittany!

Join us next Wednesday, March 16 with our friends from Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh's outreach team for a SURPRISE activity! Bring a friend and let's have fun together! See you there!


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