The catapult. It’s not a word you hear often but the catapult serves the very important function of launching airplanes from aircraft carriers. There have been four different types of catapults used throughout history – the mangonel, the onager, the ballista and the trebuchet – using different types of force: tension, torsion and gravity.
This is just one example of a lesson from the Advanced STEM elective offered at Manhattan Beach Middle School (MBMS). Introduced almost ten years ago, the course focuses on integrating collaborative activities and challenges into complex curriculum to bring science to life for students. From building catapults using household items to the classic egg drop activity, students learn the principles of engineering, math and physics while apply their knowledge to real-world scenarios.
STEM has been a significant part of MBEF’s support of our MBUSD schools. With the growing focus on STEM in today’s economy and job market, we recognize the importance of engaging students in science at a young age to build a solid foundation for more sophisticated science curriculum in high school. Beginning with MakerSpace and specialized Science Labs at the elementary level, STEM electives and Exploratory Wheel classes at the middle school, and a dedicated science lab assistant to support the diverse lab science options at the high school, MBEF funding ensures that students have opportunities in the growing industry.
We could not have done it without the support of Northrop Grumman, one of MBEF’s generous Community Partners. Northrop Grumman is a technology company, focused on global security and human discovery and has offices in Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, and El Segundo.
For over a decade, Northrop Grumman has provided MBEF with grant funding. This year their support focuses on MBMS and the Advanced STEM elective course available to eighth grade students. Northrop Grumman seeks to increase STEM educational opportunities for students so they can fill future workforce needs for talented and diverse professionals. Here in Manhattan Beach, in the middle school classes, students are introduced to the STEM field with the hopes they will explore it further as they head to high school and beyond.
Along with their grant support for STEM programming, Northrop Grumman Foundation offers the Matching Gifts for Education program for its employees. Manhattan Beach is home to a large number of residents who work for Northrop Grumman, which has resulted in over $400,000 in matching gifts over the last seventeen years.
The impact they have made in our community and schools has been significant. With the world of technology growing and changing on a daily basis, we look forward to seeing what scientific breakthroughs our MBUSD alumni may lead in the years to come.