Students in Peggy Hamilton’s second-grade classroom raced to fill their plates with food using only the utensils they were given. This group of students is working on transferring rice to a paper plate using stirring straws. It was part of a project on adaptation sponsored by Iowa State University’s Women in Science program.
Students in Peggy Hamilton’s second-grade classroom raced to fill their plates with food using only the utensils they were given. This group of students is working on transferring rice to a paper plate using stirring straws. It was part of a project on adaptation sponsored by Iowa State University’s Women in Science program.
April 3, 2013



Two Iowa State University students recently taught second-grade students at Fairview the trials of being a bird.

Jenny Kuenstling and Alicia O'Donnell, both sophomores studying engineering, showed students how and why birds adapt to their environments.

The two gave groups of students straws, tweezers, grilling tongs and toothpicks and told the students those would be used as their beaks.

The students were then given Gummi Worms, rice, raisins and red oval-shaped candies to pick up and transfer to paper plates.

Students had one minute to get their plates as full as possible.

The students trying to pick up rice with straws realized that they probably wouldn't survive in the wild.

Other students, trying to pick up Gummi Bears with grilling tongs, had more than their fill.

The program, sponsored by Iowa State University's Women in Science Program, is designed to teach boys and girls about different job opportunities in science fields.

O'Donnell is studying to be a chemical engineer, and Kuenstling is studying to be a civil engineer.

They explained that a chemical engineer can help make things like Gummi Worms, cereal and medicines whereas a civil engineer helps design roads and bridges.

"When I was younger I liked animals so I wanted to be a vet," Kuenstling said. "But that was the only option I knew."

She said that when goes into classrooms she hopes she's inspiring kids to look into many different job opportunities.