National Engineers Week

February 12-18, 2013

2013 marks the 61st anniversary of National Engineers Week. Help us celebrate as we Think It. Build It. Test It… Do It Again! Explore the engineering design process and discover that creativity and imagination are essential skills for an engineer.

Activities (February 12-17):

Helping Hand
Using the engineering design process, you’ll be challenged to design a mechanical hand, or grabber, that can reach, open and close it’s jaw and pick up various items.

Leave it to Levers
Ever tried to lift something that was really heavy? If you employ the use of a lever, your own body weight and a simple mathematic equation, you can lift objects you never thought possible.

Music to Our Ears
You’re sure to hear this activity before you ever see it. You’ll learn that sound energy travels in waves and that the frequency of a sound wave is called pitch. Younger kids in particular will love hearing the different sounds and effects of each instrument.

3D Objects
3 dimensional objects are all around us. This activity will help you understand how engineers take simple 2 dimensional drawings of their ideas and turn them into functional 3 dimensional objects, from simple “to go” boxes at your favorite restaurant, to planes, trains and automobiles.

Paper Wheels
Ever spin a top? A top is a flywheel, or better yet, it’s a spinning disc that stores energy. Once a flywheel gets going, the stored energy keeps the spin going for a long time. Explore this crafty activity using a paper version of a flywheel and see how long you can keep it rolling.  Try it at home!

Indoor Slingshot
Experience the power of potential and kinetic energy as you hurl a marshmallow toward the target. Design your own slingshot and test it to get the best reach, use the most energy and ultimately hit the bulls-eye. Try it at home!

K’nex Bridges
Different types of bridges are built for different situations. Architects and engineers consider location, climate, traffic, cost and environmental factors when constructing a bridge. Using K’nex pieces, you’ll be challenged to use your imagination to design and build a stable bridge.

This activity will challenge you to create a simple paper copter. As you make minor adjustments to make it twirl faster or slower, using what engineers call the ‘Redesign Process’ you’ll see how even the slightest adjustments to a design can make a big impact on performance.

Paper Tower Challenge (February 18):

You are invited to participate in this Engineering Challenge!

  • Teams must build an 18-inch tall tower constructed solely from newspaper and tape.
  • Your tower must be able to support the weight of an ordinary baseball.
  • Once completed, your tower must ‘Pass the Test’ – that is, towers will be placed directly in the path of a fan and must remain standing to be considered eligible.

All supplies will be provided. Towers constructed off-site are eligible for testing as well. The Paper Tower Challenge is for kids, 18 years of age and under, although parental (or adult) guidance is always welcomed.

Will you accept the challenge? Top tower wins prizes!

We are open for Presidents Day!