Smiling young students holding pencils and working during Explore Engineering program.

Explore Engineering

Can engineering, science and math be fun? You bet! At Explore Engineering events, you’ll learn the cool science behind engineering through activities, projects and contests.
Students building cars out of food.

Design, Build & Race an Edible Car!

Join us for a hands-on event where kids design, build and compete with a car that's completely edible! Participants will have fun using the engineering design cycle to build an edible car as they will work in small groups and have the opportunity to build communication and teamwork skills. Then they'll put their creations to the test as they race the cars down a ramp and calculate the average velocity. 

Wednesday, December 4, 2019
Rose-Hulman Sports & Recreation Center
6-7:30 p.m.

This program is free and open to students in grades 3-8. Advance registration is required. 

Parents, register your children here.

Explore Engineering Projects

Each explore engineering program gives you a window into a different discipline, so you can see what you enjoy and learn where it might take you. Check out the sections below to learn more about each program.

Edible Engineering

Play with your food!

Work in teams to construct a movable vehicle from an equal supply of edible materials that will include pretzel sticks, crackers, peanut butter, Oreo cookies, licorice strings and vegetables.

Rose-Hulman student helps smiling younger student build using a carrot, pretzels, and other items during Explore Engineering edible engineering project

Scientifically Speaking

Discover different types of science and engineering fields with activities such as:

  • Explore Lego Robots: Design, build and program a Lego robot that moves and senses its world.  
  • Air Cannons: Learn about waves and oscillations, while building cardboard air cannons.
  • Electric Fruit: See how fruits and vegetables conduct electricity and even make a vegetable clock.
  • House of Sports Cards: Create houses, towers and bridges from hundreds of old baseball cards and see how much weight they can hold.
  • Applied Biology: Learn about life science using physiology kits, measure blood pressure, record electrocardiograms and look at tidal volumes.

Young students build balance structure during Explore Engineering

Concrete Cylinder Testing

Civil Engineering Night

Learn about civil engineering by checking out concrete as you design or test concrete cylinders.

Changing the mix of the concrete will change its strength, which can be seen when the cylinders are squeezed with high pressure. When will they break? How durable are they? That depends on how you design them.

Students create concrete cylinder while learning about civil engineering principles.

Engineering Adventures

Use engineering to create solutions to hands-on problems, including:    

Egg Drop Cars: Design a vehicle to keep an egg from breaking after it falls off a table or crashes into a wall.

Balsa Wood Airplanes: Make a Delta Dart rubber band-powered airplane. They make their planes out of balsa wood and then watch them fly.

Rose-Hulman students working with younger students to build a hands-on project.

Recyclable Engineering Contest

What does engineering have to do with trash? Discover how to make useful things out of recyclable materials in this event as you join Rose-Hulman's annual Recyclable Engineering Contest. Use materials such as newspaper, aluminum cans, milk containers, fishing line, masking tape and duct tape to solve an engineering challenge.

oung students use recycled cardboard tube during Explore Engineering project.

Paper Airplane Contest

Sky-High Showdown

Try different designs as you build many different paper airplanes to fly in a competition. See which can hit targets and score the most points, and also which plane can fly the farthest.

A young male student folds a paper airplane; a young female student begins to throw a paper airplane.

Fun With Chemistry

What does chemistry have to do with ice cream?

Find the answer to this question and many others in this activity as you learn the chemistry behind making ice cream as well as creating Silly Putty and slime. You'll also learn about the chemical properties of other household items.

Smiling young female student wearing lab goggles and gloves touches flower.

Robotic Triathlon


This is your chance to see engineering students in action! Rose-Hulman electrical and computer engineering students compete with robots they have designed from Lego Mindstorm kits. See which team has the best robot in this annual competition complete with referees and awards.

Students test the reactions of self-propelled robotic device.

Electrical and Computer Engineering Night

Tackle hands-on projects involving electricity, power generation, electrical circuits and computer design.

Student solders wires to a circuit board.

Hot Air Balloon Contest

Up, Up, and Away!

One of the greatest problems engineers have worked on is designing things that fly. You’ll get a chance to see this for yourself as you create your own miniature balloons out of tissue paper and then watch them fly.

Students hold tissue paper hot air balloon as it is inflated.

Duct Tape Art Contest

Put your creativity to the test as you create one-of-a-kind art pieces from good old duct tape. 

Students cut and place duct tape to create geometrical art.

Graphic: AskRose Homework Help, Turning 'Huh?' Into 'Aha!' 877-ASK-ROSE or

AskRose Homework Help

For 25 years, AskRose Homework Help has been providing an academic lifeline to Indiana students in grades 6-12 with free math and science tutoring. Its tutors are Rose-Hulman students who can help your students understand STEM concepts through friendly, one-on-one tutoring sessions via phone or live chat.

Join our Mailing List

Parents, does your child want to explore engineering? Join our mailing list and get the scoop on our upcoming events!
(You must be 18 or older to request information.)

Useful Links

Find more cool information about science, engineering, and math at these websites.

Brain Pop This site features short movies on topics from math, science, technology, and other subjects. Learn about color, robots, braces, the ozone, or anything else that grabs your interest.

ASEE For high school students-the American Society for Engineering Education has information about what engineers do, how to find the right college, benefits of being an engineer, and more.

How Stuff Works You can explore this site to find out how some everyday things work, like toys or TVs. Or look up something more complicated and see how much you can learn! This site also has games and links to other interesting sites.

Building Big Wondering about bridges, skyscrapers, domes, and tunnels? This site willshow you how big structures are built and who's building them. You can also try the online labs to discover more about the things that go into these buildings.

NASA Kids Interested in spaceships? This section of the NASA website is made for kids interested in space. Learn howastronauts are exploring space, what it takes to be an astronaut, and find lots of other things like videos and games.

Chem4Kids This site has in-depth descriptions about all sorts of chemistry topics. Learn about biochemistry, atoms, matter, reactions, and other areas of chemistry.

Rene Hankins

Rene Hankins

Director of Pre-College Outreach
Stone lamp post and large rock with plaque at the front gate of Rose-Hulman.

Schedule a Visit

Curious about Rose-Hulman? Schedule a visit and see the nation’s #1 undergraduate engineering college for yourself.

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