WHEN CAN I START?

Imagine it. Build it. Watch it work. That’s what engineers do. More than likely, you’ve already done it, too, maybe on a school project or just fooling around at home. Here are two simple projects to start you out.

tower.jpg

Paper Tower

Get a friend and some newspaper and tape. Take two pieces of the newspaper and build a tower. Whose is higher? Stronger? Why?

foil.jpg

Float Your Boat

Get a piece of foil. Shape it so that it looks like a boat. Fill up the sink. Does the boat float? If not, reshape it until it does. When your boat floats, see how many pennies it will carry before it capsizes. Does it make a difference where you put the pennies? Why?

Now, think about a thing that would make your life easier. Try and construct it. If it doesn’t work, try again. And again. Change the material. Or the design. Now you’re getting the hang of engineering.


You Go, Girl!

More and more women are entering the engineering field every year. For more information, check out:

Engineer Girl, a web site by National Academy of Engineering. www.engineergirl.org

Girl Day/Discover E, a web site featuring Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day www.discovere.org

Society of Women Engineers, a history of women and engineering, with a special section for kids from K-12. www.swe.org


Engineering in Cyber Space

The web is full of sites for kids and engineering! Here are a few to get you started.

If you’re looking to pick up some tech skills online, or even go to a location in many cities across the country, or attend a summer camp specializing in engineering and robotics for kids, check out www.digitalmediaacademy.org   originally a brainchild of Stanford University.

For kid-friendly activities like puff mobile, hoop glider, and Flinker! with real engineers, go to Zoom Into Engineering. www.pbs.org/parents/zoom/engineering