Learning Center Adds New Programs

ALLEGANY – The Dresser-Rand Challenger Learning Center has added two new programs to its lineup of educational offerings aimed to stimulate interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM education): Simple Machines and Engine Works.

Simple Machines is a program that reveals how many machines, like a lever or a pulley, can be used as much for play as for work. When used in different ways, the machines can make play out of work. The Simple Machines program allows student “engineers” to build and experiment with various simple machines to discover the many ways to use the basic principles and designs for the most efficient and work-saving machine models. From playground equipment, bicycles and fishing reels to mechanic’s tools, simple machines are common in everyday life.

With Engine Works, students use a variety of tools to fully dismantle a lawnmower engine and learn about the inner workings of a gas powered combustion engine. The challenge then is to reassemble the motor into a working machine. At the conclusion of the activity, participants will have gained a better understanding of how an engine works and its basic parts.

For more information or to schedule one of these events for your class or organization, contact the Challenger Learning Center at 379-8686 or visit their website at DRCLC.org.

The Dresser-Rand Challenger Learning Center, a nonprofit organization, is a space-themed educational facility with programs designed to stimulate interest in STEM education through a series of hands-on experiences and simulations that are tied to classroom learning and team building.

The center offers two simulated space missions: Voyage to Mars and Rendezvous with Comet Halley; a team-building activity, the Great Rocket Design Challenge; and STEM programs Simple Machines and Engine Works. Since opening in June 2009, more than 6,500 students from 17 counties in New York and Pennsylvania have participated in these educational programs.