Rowan EWB - Introduction to Engineering

Rowan EWB - Introduction to Engineering


Project Description

Intro to engineering is an after school program that is held at the Mullica Hill Library. The program exposes children ages 6-12 to different types of engineering. Through hands on projects they learn to think and act like engineers. Some of these projects include making water filters, building bridges out of straws, making catapults and mixing chemicals to create bouncy balls. Each project is based on a different discipline so all participants can act like each type of engineer.

Water Filters Environmental Engineering Project

Students are given a 2-L bottle with the neck of the bottle cut off and inverted to resemble a filter. They were given a selection of materials to choose from that would filter water the best. They would then create a filter using only three materials based on prior knowledge or the lesson given beforehand. The filters were then tested and materials were compared with other filters. Students learn what goes into making clean water as well as how to test designs more efficiently since only three trials were allowed.

Bottle experiment diagram

Straw Bridges Civil Engineering Project

Students were given a certain number of straws, a limited amount of paper clips and tape along with scissors and asked to create a free standing bridge. The bridge had to be a certain height and a certain length to span across two tables. The bridges were created in a half hour time span and then tested for strength by adding pennies into a cup located on the center of the bridge. Students learned how to design structures and what goes into designing buildings. They also learned cooperation skills while working in groups because of the time limitation.

Bouncy Balls, Oobleck, and Color Chromatography Chemical Engineering Project

Bouncy Ball creation
Color chromatography example

Students were told to complete three projects with the guidance of students. To create bouncy balls, glue, borax and cornstarch were mixed in proper proportions to create a polymer that bounced when dry. Oobleck demonstrated that some liquids can act like solids when enough pressure is added to them. Color chromatography involved dipping one end of coffee paper into water and adding a dot of marker ink to it. The water would then allow the ink to travel up the paper until the different dye colors could be seen. Students learned the importance of following directions to reach a goal as well as different chemical properties.