Illinois Engineering Open House Review

The annual Illinois Engineer Open House was open last week and AP Chem, Biology and Physics all got the opportunity to go! It was a great privilege to be able to go because it was really fun; it’s a great learning experience.

Some brief descriptions of the stations I went to were:

The Concrete Crusher (Building: Mechanical Laboratory): The engineers in this exhibit calculated it would take 2.5 million pounds of pressure in order for the concrete cylinder to break. Out of the entire nation, the machine that was used in the demonstration is to be one of the two in existence! I got a awesome video in slow motion.

Fruity DNA (Building: Materials Science and Engineering): In this exhibit, the goal is to extract DNA from a strawberry! In few very easy steps all you do is get a strawberry and put it in a ziplock bag. Then you mash it up so its all liquidy. Then you strain it and pour it in a cup through a filter system. After water/soap/salt solution is added to the cup, you get a long hook to easily access and pick up DNA!

Dance Workshop: Although this sounds like it has nothing to do with engineering, you are wrong! This workshop was set up to wear you stand on a body part (ie: arms, legs, heart, neck, head) and everyone holds hand. We represent cells and how we run the body. We dance and jump around to move. If one cell dies, a new one comes along and replaces the chain. It was a fun way to cooperate dance with biology.