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Baltimore City Schools, Johns Hopkins Engineering Partner To Promote STEM Education To Students

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Students at Dr. Bernard Harris Elementary Middle School said their playground slide got too hot in the sunny weather, so they invented a system where rainwater is caught in a barrel and pumped by a solar-powered device up onto the slide to cool it off.

"What we did was a community walk. We walked around both inside and outside the school, and we just wrote down in our journals what are some of the things we liked to do," said teacher Mary Chapman.

Students from seven Baltimore City elementary and middle schools displayed and demonstrated their creations at the Columbus Center in downtown Baltimore on Wednesday.

The inventions were built in response to the challenges they face in their communities. Teachers said it is critical to spark interest in math and science at an early age.

"I think engineering education for elementary school students make a perfect bridge between when they're really little kids and they're very physically oriented to when they're developing into their mathematics and into their linguistics," Chapman said.

This year student projects range from a rainwater collection system that keeps playgrounds from developing slippery puddles and slime stress balls to relieve student tension.

There is also an automated restroom air freshening system and an app to help city planners identify vacant homes for either rehab or demolition.

The students put their project together as part of a partnership between City Schools and Johns Hopkins Engineering.

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