STEM Events

Long Island Schools Bring STEM to Life Through Amusement Park Rides

More than 2,200 Long Island middle school students recently rode amusement park rides to get a better handle on STEM concepts.

The students were attending Technology Day at Adventureland, an annual event dating back to 2001. For the event, students get to ride the park's attractions, then complete workbook lessons focused on the design, operation, ergonomics or mechanics of the rides to help bring STEM ideas to life.

"The park is pretty unique on Technology Day," said Emily Guarnieri, technology director for the Diocese of Rockville Centre, in a prepared statement. "There are students working in small groups everywhere you look, measuring, triangulating height and exploring engineering design principles such as structure, safety and accessibility."

Students from the Diocese of Rockville Centre made up the bulk of the crowd, with 37 of the 50 schools attending coming from the Catholic organization.

The event is organized by the Long Island Technology and Engineering Education Association (LITEEA) and is the brainchild of Joe Fili, an officer in the organization and a retired teacher.

"The teachers whose classes participate come to a workshop the week before the event where they are introduced to 13 teaching concepts that are illustrated by the rides." said Fili in a local report about the event. "They choose the four or five rides that best align with their classroom curriculum and create a custom workbook that their students complete during the day. It is quite an unusual sight to see and hear the squeals of delight of the students on the rides as you are standing in the middle of groups of students working to complete their workbooks."

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About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at [email protected].