Calvert City, KY plant STEM outreach

STEM outreach event for students at a local preschool

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Ashland Calvert City, KY plant personnel conducted a STEM outreach event for students at a local preschool.  The younger the better for the first exposure to STEM concepts!  36 children aged 3-5 years old attended the presentation.  The children were split into 3 groups and took turns with 3 different hands-on activities with a culminating finale of mentos rockets.  

The children and teachers enjoyed the presentation and commented that they could use some of these hands-on activities for their classroom science time.  The plant hopes to conduct a similar event next year with a new group of children.

Ashland helps strengthen the lives, careers, and futures of women engineers in Kentucky

Jessica Martin, of the Ashland Calvert City Process Engineering team, recently presented a donation to the Society of Women Engineering (SWE) local chapter at the University of Kentucky – Paducah extended campus.  SWE is the world’s largest advocate and catalyst for change for women in the engineering and technology fields.  With support from the plant manager, Brett Bierbaum, the team was able to provide much needed financial support allowing all current SWE members to attend their national conference and further their engineering interests.


STEM pre-school activities 

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Jessica Martin, Sr. Process Engineer, led the activity for plant capillary action.  White carnations were placed in dyed water overnight to illustrate capillary action and coloring sheets provided.  Parts of the plant were discussed as well as early concepts of adhesion, cohesion, and surface tension.  The kids liked playing with the pipette to show the effects of pulling a vacuum.

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Josh Shoulta, Process Engineer, led the activity for instant snow using sodium polyacrylate to demonstrate osmosis. Osmosis is the spontaneous movement of water to a higher solute concentration from a lower solute concentration.  The children really enjoyed making their own instant snow and a little bit of a mess. 

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Abby Teddleton, PED Co-Op, led the activity with the balancing scale. Several items were weighed and compared.  Concepts of mass, weight, gravity, and density were the main discussion points. The children were fascinated that a big item (a balloon) could weigh less than a tiny object (a rock) due to density.