This post was written by the Penn State Advanced Vehicle Team
We’re not sure about the other EcoCAR 2 teams, but we sure wish it could be National Engineers Week every week! To make this dream a little closer to reality, we wanted to look back on five ways we educated future generations of engineers during National Engineers Week.
1. Discovery Space
We celebrated National Engineers Week and National Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day at Discovery Space in State College. Discovery Space looks to provide engaging, scientific experiences that spark creativity, curiosity and imagination in children. Our celebration wouldn’t have been nearly as effective without or partnership with Discovery Space.
To introduce STEM career opportunities to youngsters, we created a series of four fun career exploration activities called “mini-explosions.” The careers we featured were engineer, biologist, astronaut and scientist. Our mini-explosion activity at the scientist table was a kid favorite! We also incorporated a recycling activity that was separate from the career exploration activities.
3. Engaged Parents
While our number one priority was to educate youth at our National Engineer’s Week event, we were pleasantly surprised by the interest and involvement of the adults! Parents enjoyed interacting with our engineers at mini-explosions and some even spent time talking with their children about the experiments. “We had a blast interacting with kids at this event. I think some of the parents enjoyed the activities just as much – if not more – than their children,” said Victoria Scipione, Penn State Advanced Vehicle Team communications team member.
4. Arts and Crafts
We also set up several arts and crafts opportunities for the children. While the kids were busy creating their masterpieces, our team educated them and their families about the science behind the activity. Throughout the event, our goal was to educate children as much as possible while keeping them engaged with some science fun.
5. Vehicle “Show” Sessions
We had two half-hour vehicle viewing sessions during our two-hour event. Communications team members announced the times of the vehicle viewing sessions to participants, then guided them outside where our engineers were ready to show off our vehicle and answer any questions. As usual, our vehicle attracted a lot of attention!