Canstruction to be revealed at fourth annual STEAM Day at Penn State Shenango

SHARON, Pa. — Penn State Shenango and the Sharon City School District are partnering to provide a unique experience for the fourth annual STEAM Day on Nov. 19. New to the event this year is the reveal of Canstruction, a canned food structure designed and built by sixth-grade students from Sharon and engineering students at the Shenango campus. The theme of the structure revolves around Penn State, the Sharon School District, and the 35th anniversary of the Community Food Warehouse of Mercer County.

As part of the endeavor, the sixth-graders designed a structure, raised money to purchase more than 1,800 cans of food, and then built the structure after school hours. Penn State Shenango Assistant Teaching Professor of Engineering Matt Caputo and his engineering students digitized the design to create a count of cans that would be needed for construction. Sharon Save-A-Lot worked alongside the students to ensure the lowest possible price for the canned food.

The structure will be revealed at the start of the STEAM Day event and will be located in the Great Hall on the Shenango campus for four weeks. After four weeks of display, all of the canned food will be donated to the Community Food Warehouse of Mercer County. 

In addition to the Canstrution reveal, Shenango campus faculty will provide hands-on STEAM activities for the Sharon sixth-grade students to foster excitement and interest in the STEAM fields. This will provide a unique opportunity for the middle school students to learn in a college classroom and to visit a college campus in their own community.

Students will spend an entire school day on the Shenango campus exploring science, technology, engineering, art and math. One group of students will use their creativity to build a scribbling machine and will be challenged to build a DNA molecule in the class session, “DNA-Molecules of Life.” Some students will investigate the basic structure of the human body in a class session on muscles/bones, while others will have the opportunity to learn about CPR, engineering concepts, and “Bacteria: The Dark Truth.” In Sharon Hall, mathematical thinkers will have the opportunity in “Math in Magic” to use logical reasoning to solve real-life problems.

The daylong event will include a treat that Penn State students and fans know all too well, Penn State Berkey Creamery ice cream. The event will begin at 8:45 a.m. and conclude at 2:15 p.m. in the Penn State Shenango Auditorium in downtown Sharon.