Sunday, July 25, 2010

Need some ideas!!!

I need your ideas! I'm starting to get active with the Society of Women Engineers here in Boston and I've volunteered to keep an outreach event going where we educate kids about engineering through a FUN day filled with a variety of hands-on workshops.

I need your help with any good experiments or activities kids would be able to accomplish within an hour, BUT still incorporate learning about different engineering disciplines. We're hoping to have them complete about 6-7 different workshops for the day. I have some ideas (bottle rocket launching, music box kit, etc.)and I've looked around online, but does anyone have some good ones they really like out there?!?! If you have recommendations, it doesn't matter what age group/grade. We'd like to host an event for 3-6 and 7-12 graders. I'm open to all suggestions! THANKS!


Craig N. said...

Check out this link:

I'm presenting the "Clear for Launch" one today for 3rd and 4th graders, and there looks like a lot of other good ones in there.

heroineworshipper said...

SMD soldering contest

Anonymous said...

How about building a solar oven?

Brad Regez said...

I just put on a SHM (Structural Health Monitoring) workshop for 10-12 graders, they really liked the West Point Bridge Designer 2010 software ( I also had them construct bridges with some PASCO structures systems and loaded them, measured deflection, weighed the bridges, then took a ratio to determine the winner. Some details can be found at:
We also put on a Career Day for Girls earlier this year, we had some hands on experiments set up with PZT, fiber optic based sensors and plate wave demos. Some pictures can be found at:

Igor Carron said...

two words: water rockets

I use the ones from but some could be built on your own. In one hour, the goal is to find out how much water gets the rockets to go as high as possible. For that you also need to find a way to find the height of the trajectories ( they can go at least three/four stories up).

There is no better way that to introduce people to the rocket equation.



Damaris Sarria Toepel said...

Thanks guys!!! Seriously some great info and topics for me to look into. It's always great for the kids to be able to take home whatever activity they whether it be a small PCB with SMDs or LEDs, a rocket or bridge, it will be a confidence booster! :) I'll definitely update my progress on putting this together. It's going to be a lot of work organizing the event. But I'm 100% dedicated to make it awesome!

mike shupp said...

Bridge building with Legos? I can't say it'd induce REAL knowledge, but getting kids used to the idea that some types of structures succeed while others fall down might prod a few into the right sort of mindset.

Have fun. Show us lots of pictures!

Elliott J. said...

When I was a YOUNG kid, my teacher gave us an idea of electrical engineering by building a cardboard house and wiring it with electricity. We learned the basic properties of electricity, circuits, etc. We used little switches, wires, flashlight bulbs and batteries to do it. We also built our own light bulbs by getting wire, wrapping it super tight and connecting the wire ends to a five volt. We even caught a pencil on fire with that. T'was fun.

Greg Rocketman Cecil said...


I worked with you at KSC before I was laid off last October. I haven't checked your blog in a long time and am surprised to see your gone. I wish you the best and congrats on working for MIT. You will achieve your dream if our Human Space Flight program can be saved. Time will tell. Currently you can follow my misadventures on I cover RV and Human Space Flight topics on my site.

Be safe and well,

P.S. Enjoyed our time on ZeroG and hope to go back again some day.

Rocketman said...


I forgot to pass along that I am also doing lectures for various schools and civic groups on what it is like to work on the Space Shuttle. Though the youngest groups I speak with are in the 5th grade, if you think I might be of some help in finding ideas or providing some pictures for your school lectures, let me know. You can find my info at

Be safe and well,