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Hands-On Activity Session Options

Classes subject to change, check back often for updates


Explore the Machine Shop
Capacity Limit (24 total)

Take a visit to the Robert O. Webster Machine Shop located in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. Learn how it is used to help build and develop a wide array of metal components that are used in everyday life.  You will explore the different tools in the shop and their uses and everyone will leave with a custom-made product. 

Mr. Potato Head Assembly
Capacity Limit (66 total)

You will get a peek into Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISE) and how to make accurate, quality products in a timely and efficient manner. In this session, participants will work to create different potato head combinations to fill customer orders. You will play either an operator and build the potatoes or a transporter who gets to move the potatoes throughout the production line and deliver them to the customer. Have fun building different Mr. Potato Head combinations while competing against others and get an introduction to simple ISE concepts such as a push versus pull system of production and practices to increase quality and productivity while reducing waste.

Forces, robots, and assistive technologies
Capacity Limit (60 total)

Mechanical engineers utilize force and energy in all their various forms to improve the lives of humans everywhere across the planet. In this workshop, we will look at how engineers apply the study of force and energy to both humans and robots, through the use of electromechanical devices and systems. We will work with a robot and learn a little bit about the science of biomechanics and how it is used to understand and assist persons with mobility limitations such as spinal cord injury and stroke.

Toy Adaptation
Capacity Limit (72 total)

One job of engineers is to make products which are accessible to all. Participants will work in teams to adapt a pre-existing electronic toy so it can be used by a child with a physical disability. This will involve reverse engineering the toy to figure out how it works, choosing a function on the toy to adapt, and attaching a 3.5 mm jack which can be connected to an alternative activation switch. Participants will employ some basics of Boolean logic and have the opportunity to solder parts of the jack and wires. Appropriate safety equipment and assistance will be provided in this fun, interactive, and hands-on session. The adapted toys from the class will be donated to local toy libraries and/or given to local families directly, so, your work will have a real impact on a child’s life.

We’ve lost our Marbles! Design Challenge
Capacity Limit (48 total)

In this activity, you will experience hands-on design-build principles used in every engineering discipline. Working in a group, you will design, build, and test a prototype of a machine designed to transport and deliver marbles. The teams will then compete to determine which displays the strongest teamwork and design potential. Along the way, you will learn about the iterative nature of the design process, identify productive and counter-productive design approaches, and determine what it looks like to work in a high-functioning team. On your mark…get set…brainstorm!

Hands on Engineering at Home
Capacity Limit (60 total)

You don’t have to have fancy machines or a lot of expensive tools to be an engineer. In fact, a lot of great engineering can be done for less than a dollar with products you can find around the house. In this class you will get to learn about some key engineering concepts, with an emphasis on electrical engineering, and design some functional products. Participants will have a chance to build a speaker, flashlight or water diver toy in class.

What makes Chapstick Special? 
Capacity Limit (80 total)

We all use chapstick and we all probably have our favorite kinds, but have you ever wondered how it is made? In this class you will get a chance to explore the science behind how chapstick is actually made. You will explore chemical engineering concepts that go into the creation of different types of chapstick exploring how different components interact with each other. Oh, and you will actually get to make some chapstick too.

Young Architects
Capacity Limit (50 total)

What is an architect you ask? Well this class will explore that answer and the different engineering disciplines that go into architecture. You will learn about the core skills needed to be an architect and how you need to work with many different engineering disciplines to do the job successful. Get hands on as you design, build and explore!