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Family Night at Silver Spring Neighborhood Center/Browning Elementary

SSNC Spiral

Last night Silver Spring Neighborhood Center held a family night for parents in the neighborhood or whose children attend Browning Elementary School. As part of the activities they planned for the evening, we brought along some math activities to see what children were inspired by.

The playground at Browning has a number spiral that to date had been used as the place to pile coats while playing elsewhere on the playground. Last night we proposed rules for some games students might play using a pair of large foam dice to figure their next move.

SSNC Family Night

The big hit of the evening were the Zometool bubble wands students built.

It was a beautiful evening to watch bubbles drift across the playground, or when the breeze calmed, observe the structures created within a wand. A student was heard to say “that’s a tetrahedron!”

SSNC Family Night

UWM Hosts Zoo Train Challenge Design Review

On May 2nd, UWM hosted the final design review for students participating in our challenge to design a replacement for the wooden water tower that services the Zoo’s steam locomotives. Teams presented their designs to a review panel that included:

  • Wade Kostiwa, project Manager CG Schmidt
  • Jason Gross, Structural Engineer, Graef USA
  • Davidson Ward, Coalition for Sustainable Rail
  • Ken Ristow Milwaukee County Zoo
  • Brian Krause, Milwaukee County Zoo

Over lunch, the review panel identified key concepts to include in the final specification. This list included contributions from all of the participating teams.

Brett Peters, Dean of the School of Engineering provided closing remarks.

What’s next

We’re grateful to have the help of Jason Gross from Graef to finalize the spec and provide the engineering analysis on the final design. This summer, through the support of Building2Learn, UWM will host a two week workshop for a group of students from area high schools to produce construction drawings for the new tower.

This fall we’ll work with a schools to fabricate components for the tower. That will also see the kick off of our next challenge — design of a coal handling system to replace the current manual process.

If you’d like to get your school or company involved in the initiative, let us know. Here’s how.

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