MOA Opens Room Designed by NEAAAT Students

On Saturday, September 22nd, Museum of the Albemarle hosted a ribbon cutting for their new children’s discovery room. NEAAAT students Amy Bishop, Zoe Sawyer, and Worth Elliott, were named as design winners by museum staff.

Student groups from Northeast Academy for Aerospace and Advanced Technologies presented in a “Shark Tank” style competition on Tuesday, February 21, 2017, for the chance to redesign the children’s room at the Museum of the Albemarle.


The students worked in groups of three to four throughout the fall semester to create project ideas that will reinvent the Discovery Room at the museum. The previous theme, a train station, is due for an update this year. NEAAAT’s middle school students were tasked with creating and presenting new themes and activities to museum staff including several department heads, the Curator and the Regional Director.

The students worked through the engineering design process as part of a project-based learning unit in their Design Principles class led by Coach Joseph Hedley. “I’m very proud of what the students have accomplished,” said Hedley. “All of the groups made tremendous strides in the three months we worked on the project.”

Amy Bishop, a 9th grader from Pasquotank, described the entire project as “intense” because “we had to create designs in TinkerCad and a budget in Google Sheets and present our entire slideshow many times to many different people.” After an initial first round of cuts, seven groups were selected to present their projects at the museum. Of those seven, Group #5, Amy Bishop, Zoe Sawyer, and Worth Elliott, were named as overall winners. In a letter from Lori Meads, an educator at the museum, she stated, “the group had clear articulations of goals and objectives and [the staff] liked several of the interactive activities that were fun but educational.” The letter continued saying, “all the presentations had something to offer that families could interact with their children and have an educational experience at the same time relating to the Albemarle Region. As a whole all groups are winners. The students presented the topic in a professional manner, not to mention the eye contact, manner of dress, projection of voice and how they conducted themselves.”