Despite intense winter weather throughout late February, WVU Tech students and faculty celebrated National Engineers Week (February 22-28) by sharing engineering with K-12 students throughout the Kanawha Valley.
During the week, WVU Tech hosted a group of fifth graders from Chesapeake Elementary School in Chesapeake, West Virginia to spend the day learning about careers.
The group toured WVU Tech’s laboratories, watched mechanical and civil engineering demonstrations, participated in hands-on engineering activities and ate lunch with WVU Tech student ambassadors who answered questions about college.
On Thursday, February 26, WVU Tech sponsored and participated in BridgeValley Community and Technical College’s annual Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day, which brings more than 100 eighth grade girls from schools throughout southern West Virginia to the NiSource/Columbia Gas building in Charleston.
During the event, students met with educators and professionals from engineering fields to learn about engineering careers and build rollercoasters as they experimented with potential and kinetic energy.
WVU Tech students and faculty are continuing the celebration of all things engineering into March, where they will visit with area middle and high schools and participate in Discover Engineering Day at the Clay Center in Charleston on Saturday, March 7.
“WVU Tech has been very involved with this event for a number of years and it’s something we’re always excited to a part of,” said WVU Tech chemical engineering professor Dr. Kimberlyn Gray.
Part of the center’s Family Fun Days series, Discover Engineering Day will feature a variety of interactive stations. WVU Tech students will demonstrate a “human joystick” that allows visitors to pilot a robot using a Nintendo Wii balance board, civil engineering students will challenge visitors to build marshmallow bridges, the biology station will show attendees their heart rates with an electrocardiogram (EKG), and other groups will share the science behind making waterproof fabrics and how binary and hexadecimal code works in computers.
“It’s a chance for younger students and their families to see how engineering makes so many interesting and creative things possible. We try to balance the technical aspects that visitors can see with hands-on activities that allow them to do some engineering on their own so they can get a better grasp on certain concepts,” said Gray.
“And since the event is sponsored by engineering firms and businesses involved in engineering processes, they get to see what people in their own state are doing and how engineering is contributing to society around them,” she said.
Discover Engineering Day will be open to Girl Scout groups from 9-11 a.m. and to the general public from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 7. Visit the Clay Center website to find out more.
Be sure to check out WVU Tech on Flickr to see photos from Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day and Discover Engineering Day at the Clay Center.