TEDx Event at Greenfield Middle School

Written by Alyssa Burley.

Project Cornerstone hosted two workshops called "The Science and Economics of our Earth's Resources" at the TEDx event hosted by Greenfield Middle School in El Cajon, CA on Saturday, April 16, 2016.

The workshops included a brief history about how the ancient Romans revolutionized the use of concrete to build their cities' infrastructure.  The attendees participated in a trade activity where they learned about the value of a commodity and it increases with trade.  They also made their own concrete projects to take home.

Photos by Alyssa Burley.

Photos by Alyssa Burley.

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Science Teacher from Greenfield Middle School Sends Thank You Letter

Written by Alyssa Burley.

On November 10th, 12th and 13th, 2015, Project Cornerstone visited eight 6th grade science classes at Greenfield Middle School, reaching over 270 students.

Science teacher, Anglea Najera wrote a letter thanking Project Cornerstone for providing the in-class activities to all of the school's 6th grade students.

"Students were deeply engaged in the hands on learning experience of sorting aggregate materials and making concrete.  The program aligned perfectly with our curriculum and reinforced Earth science concepts taught in 6th grade," wrote Ms. Najera.

Project Cornerstone's in-class activities include a lecture on the importance of local construction aggregates, a hands-on sieve analysis lab, and a science project where students make their own concrete.

She continued to explain, "Greenfield's staff especially appreciated how Project Cornerstone's lesson had students authentically apply the scientific method during the activity, which included measurement, data collecting, and analysis."

Ms Najera finished her letter by thanking "the knowledgeable and professional staff who helped over two hundred 6th graders learn and be successful during the activity.  It is apparent that a great deal of planning and care went into designing and implementing the lesson."

In-Class Activities with Students from Greenfield Middle School

Written by Alyssa Burley.

Project Cornerstone educated over 270 sixth-grade students in eight science classes about the importance of construction aggregates (i.e., sand, gravel and crushed stone) at Greenfield Middle School on November 10th, 12th and 13th, 2015.

The in-class activities included three sections: a lecture about the importance of local construction aggregates, a lab experiment to test two sand samples to determine which type is best for making concrete, and a science project where the students made their own concrete projects.

Photos by Alyssa Burley.

Photos by Alyssa Burley.

Project Cornerstone Celebrates Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Month!

March is STEM month!  STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.  STEM programs are popping up all over the country to inspire students to go into STEM careers.  Project Cornerstone's programs fit perfectly into STEM-focused education.  Students learn the science behind concrete, technologies used in mining construction aggregates, engineering and mathematics that are used in the industry.

To celebrate STEM month, Project Cornerstone increased its educational efforts throughout San Diego County.

Throughout the month, Project Cornerstone estimates it reached over 2,200 students and parents with positive messages about construction aggregates and the importance of having local aggregate supplies.

Activities and events included in-class programs with 210 sixth-grade students from Greenfield Middle School and 36 advanced eight-grade students from Jean Farb Middle School; 600 middle and high school students at Career Day from Campo Middle School, Pine Valley Middle School, Portrero Elementary and Mountain Empire High School; field trips with 180 sixth-grade students from Cajon Valley Middle School; and over 1200 students and parents who participated in our booth at the San Diego Festival of Science and Engineering EXPO Day at PETCO Park.

Project Cornerstone Visits Students at Greenfield Middle School for a Sieve Analysis and Concrete Activity

Written by Alyssa Burley.

Sixth-grade students at Greenfield Middle School learning about the local construction aggregates industry. Photo by Alyssa Burley.

Sixth-grade students at Greenfield Middle School learning about the local construction aggregates industry. Photo by Alyssa Burley.

Project Cornerstone educated nearly 210 sixth-grade students about the importance of construction aggregates (i.e., sand, gravel and crushed stone) at Greenfield Middle School on March 5th and 6th, 2015.

The in-class activities included three sections: a background presentation about the local construction aggregates industry, a sieve analysis, and a concrete making activity.

For the sieve analysis, students develop a hypothesis for which type of sand (i.e., river or beach) is best suited for making concrete based on the knowledge gained during the presentation.  Half the class tests a sample that includes river sand while the other half tests a sample with beach sand.  Each group pours their sample into the top of the sieve (which has a series of screens that sorts the material by size as it passes through each screen).  The students weigh the amount of material captured by each screen and calculate its percentage of the whole.  Samples with the least amount of very fine sand are best suited for making concrete.

The concrete making activity is more than just an art project.  Students must mix the sand, gravel, cement and water in the correct proportions in order for the concrete mixture to cure properly.  As they add water to the sand, gravel and cement mix, the students witness the chemical process, known as hydration, which changes the aggregate and water mixture from a liquid into a solid. 

While the concrete was still in a liquid form, the students poured the mixture into various molds like footballs, trucks, flowers, butterflies and more.  Once the concrete was hard, it was removed from the molds and given to the students to take home.