Farmer Grady’s STEM Challenge

Chelsea Currie, 4th grade Math/ Science
East Side Intermediate

Living in Haywood County, the Heart of the Tennessee Delta, agriculture is of great importance. Farmer Grady’s Challenge allowed fourth-grade enrichment students to act as engineering teams that designed equipment for farms. This included such concepts as designing the roof structures and testing netting strength, which is occasionally used to assist in protecting crops.

These engineers were divided into their five teams (colleges): Lane College, UT Knoxville, Mississippi State, University of Memphis, and Duke. These engineers were to collaborate and design equipment that would help Farmer Grady protect her crops from hail that forms during strong thunderstorms. These talented engineers were engaged in various hands-on concepts using the Engineering Design Process and standards/practices that correlated to Math, Science, and ELA.

Students walked away with knowledge and understanding of learning the importance of an engineer’s role and the understanding of how the small things can sometimes dramatically affect the bigger picture. “We offer special thanks to the UT Martin Summer STEM workshop for all of the materials for this adventure,” said “chief engineer” and teacher Chelsea Currie.