CHOICES encourages future female engineers
The summer CHOICES Engineering Camp is a chance for women engineers from Lehigh University's P C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science to share their interest and knowledge with middle school-aged girls. The camp took place in mid-July at Lehigh University.
Four teams participated in hands on experiments that introduced them to multiple science and engineering disciplines. For materials and science engineering, they assembled and tested fruit batteries. They built a burglar alarm for electrical engineering and developed new funny putty in chemical engineering. For computer engineering, they programmed a robot and for civil and environmental engineering, they purified muddy water.
On the last day of camp, family and friends were invited to watch two of the finished projects tested. They saw the Rube Goldberg Project where campers engineered a device that will automatically push a thumbtack into a piece of foam.
They also saw the water towers, built for structural engineering, filled with water to see how much they could hold. The campers discussed their designs before testing the towers. "The triangles are pointing in all different directions so no matter where the pressure comes from it will be supported," said Kayleigh Boyle about her team's water tower.
The girls watched as each water tower held a bucket that was slowly filled with water until it collapsed from the weight. Then Bill Best, the program director led a discussion about changes they would make to their towers now that they had seen the weak points. "I think we should have had support in the middle," suggested Elizabeth Hunsicker.
All of the projects combined fun with learning in hopes that some of these girls will one day become future engineers, as their T-shirts said.