Thursday, May 6, 2010

Discovery Days at the UW College of Engineering

(text by Alexis, photos by Kate)
On Friday the 23rd and Saturday the 24th of April, the University of Washington hosted the first ever Engineering Discovery Days (formerly the College of Engineering Open House). Engineering Discover Days is a chance for all of the engineering departments on campus to share their work with students, teachers and families. The campus was crawling with K - 12 students on Friday! It was actually a little bit terrifying.

In an attempt to lure the children away from the Department of Chemical Engineering's silly putty exhibit (a tough act to follow!) we brought Frank out to the main lawn where he quickly attracted large groups of kids, parents, and teachers. We had some trouble convincing Frank to print outside but (thanks to Kevin's troubleshooting efforts) we soon had him producing stacks of shiny green PLA legos.

People had lots of questions about Frank and 3d printing in general. Here are a few:

- "Are they going to have these in the FUTURE?!" - excited fifth grader
- "So…what is the practical application of this thing?" - confused parent
- "How does Frank learn what to do?" - intrigued third grader
- "Why does this thing break all the time?" - bored middle schooler
- "Awesome! How come you guys get to play with one of these?!?" - jealous computer science student

In addition to showing off Frank at Discovery Days, we decided to reveal some of our other project ideas to the public. Chris (the newest addition to our group) spent some time showcasing his homemade touch-screen which we will be incorporating into this quarter's big LearnMakeCupcake project.

Here are a few images from Discovery Days.

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