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Sky Was the Limit to Student Creativity & Scientific Adventures
May 10, 2011
Brightly colored miniature hot air balloons filled the
skies on the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology campus earlier
this month as Wabash Valley middle school and high school students
showcased their love of science. The hands-on project
culminated a fun-filled year for the Explore Engineering program,
part of college's educational outreach activities to interest
youths in science, engineering, mathematics and technology.
Rose-Hulman professors and students contribute time and thought
to ensuring that youngsters see the joyous side of engineering
early on. For example, this miniature hot air balloon activity was
organized by Kevin Sutterer, head of the Department of Civil
Engineering, with assistance from members of the Cecil T. Lobo
student chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers.
The Explore Engineering program is coordinated by Dale Long of the
Office of Communications & Marketing.
Approximately 40 youths worked in teams throughout April to
design and assemble their miniature hot air balloons, using
light-weight crepe paper and glue. Then, on May 3, the teams
patiently filled their balloons with hot air and launched their
projects toward the bright blue skies. The balloons soared to
about 40 feet into the air, and travelled several feet from the
original launch pad, until returning to the ground. Many
teams made multiple launches throughout the evening.
The Explore Engineering program brought students in grades 6-12
to campus two nights each month throughout the 2010-11 school year
to learn about different aspects of engineering and science.
Other activities had youths creating electronic and mousetrap
powered racers, completing chemistry experiments, making popsicle
bridges and learning about robotics.