The Nevada PE Foundation both "inspires the next generation of socially and environmentally responsible leaders" and "supports science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education." Outreach to K-6 is a new area, recently undertaken by the Foundation. It is based on Trustees' observations that there is both inadequate contact with engineering professionals in the lower grades (K-6) and also insufficient resources in the public schools’ lower grades to provide hands-on activities in engineering design and testing. It is the intent of the Nevada PE foundation, through its outreach activities, to address these deficits in the primary grades for schools in Nevada.
The Foundation has developed three different self-supporting kits, contained in 5-gallon paint buckets that contain engineering design and testing activities for primary school students.
Activity #1 - Hoop Glider, aimed at lower elementary grades (preK-3), introduces students to the engineering design process through building, testing and improving a simple glider made from a straw and two loops of construction paper.
Activity #2 - Pop Fly Catapult, better suited to the middle elementary grades (3-6), asks students to solve the problem of launching a ping pong ball with a hand or foot operated catapult. Students have the opportunity to build, test and evaluate their catapults, and then re-build and test again, a catapult made from paint sticks, a wooden spool, a Dixie cup, and duct tape.
Activity #3 - Rubber Band Car, better suited to the upper elementary grades (5-6), asks students to build a car that can travel at least 4 feet. Students have the opportunity to build, test and evaluate their cars, and then re-build and test again, the car is made from 2 compact disks, cardboard, paper clip, rubber bands, straws, a wooden skewer, putty and tape.