Friday, March 21, 2014

MeritCorp Goes Back to School

This month MeritCorp Group, LLC went back to School!  Across the nation there has been a recent push in the education system to encourage students to embrace Math, Science and Technology learning.  Many schools, including the Oswego School system, are reaching out with programs like ‘Project Lead the Way’ and with community events like the recent Science Night put on by P.A.C.E. [Parents and Community for Excellence].   
MeritCorp Group was proud to participate in this fun evening focused on encouraging young students with activities focused on scientific principals related to Civil Engineering and Surveying.

The objective of the Science night was to provide an interactive experience for kids that would help them to learn about Civil Engineering and Land Surveying.   While the sometimes technical world of a Civil Engineer may go over the heads of kids, our staff stepped up to the challenge with three fun hands-on activities that anyone could relate to and learn from.

The first activity was focused on Civil Engineering.  Using a simplified design, we showed the kids how to filter water with sand similar to what would be done in a large industrial sand filter.  The kids were able to create a small filter using a 2-liter bottle, cotton balls, small aggregate (rocks) and sand.   For the ‘dirty’ water we used glitter with water.  This made it easy for the kids to see how the sand filters out solids.  Then as they poured the water back thru the filter a second (or third) time they could see how the fine particles would come out cleaner on the other side.

The second activity included a land surveying construction level.  It was set up for the kids to look thru and see an object across the room.  They enjoyed the ability to focus and see the tiny plaque on the bottom of a picture of George Washington.   Our goal was to show kids the resolution capabilities of the instrument and then explain how it is used by a surveyor to set and obtain elevations of roads, buildings and other structures.  

The third activity was focused more on problem solving, something a Civil Engineer has to do every day.  The problem presented was how to use a single sheet of paper to support heavy books at least 2 ½ inches off of the table.  They were allowed to use scissors, tape, and a ruler.  Amazingly, the kids stepped up to the challenge and figured out ways to create columns to support their impromptu ‘structures’.

The staff at MeritCorp had a fun evening of interacting with potential future engineers and surveyors.  With over 600 attendees, it was a busy 2 ½ hours.  We hope that the excitement of the evening will encourage future problem solvers to continue pursuing knowledge in the Science, Math, and Technology fields. 
“PACE Science Night was a great success thanks to all the support from presenters throughout the community, the volunteers, and everyone at Oswego High School!  Over 600 guests of all ages enjoyed presentations and activities at over 50 tables.” 
                                                  – Jessica Byrne (PACE Representative)

For parents interested in doing the water filter or even more fun activities to do with their kids visit: 

For more information on MeritCorp Group, LLC and how we can put our hands-on problem solving to work for you visit