Kids at UNR Engineering Camp get to Express their Inner Mad Scientist!

By Jennifer Burton

Guest Post by Amanda Gallop – 7th Grade

Playing with liquid nitrogen at UNR Engineering camp

Experimenting with liquid nitrogen at UNR Engineering camp

When people hear the word,"Engineering", they might immediately think of complicated equations and long math problems, but they haven't actually had an inside look.  The UNR Summer Engineering Camp was the perfect sneak peek for kids, into the career that is engineering.

I discovered that a great way to get  insight into a career is to be taught by people in that field.  That's why the camp is taught by UNR grad students who are majoring in some form of engineering.  They were happy to provide us with information about their area of expertise.

I knew from the brochure that we would ride Segways and design our own video games, but we did so much more.  For example, we got to build bottle rockets and launch them, dip objects in liquid nitrogen to see what happened (The student teaching that experiment even dipped his finger in the freezing stuff, and cracked it on the table… but we found out it was really just a hot dog in his glove.)

Amanda and her partener, Ashley, build a bridge out of K'nex!

Ashley and Amanda build a bridge out of K'nex!

The Intro to Engineering Camp is for students ages 12 – 14.  We started out building bridges out of  K'nex and it got more exciting every day.   My favorite part was when we vaporized aluminum foil using electricity.  It made a huge bang that was the equivalent of a 12-gauge shotgun!  We did this when we went to the electrical engineering department, where we were taught by a professor who showed us how it worked.  It was so awesome!

Thanks to the UNR Engineering Camp, I was able to learn about things I hadn't even thought of before:  like the structure of roads and bridges, how aerial photos are taken and turned into maps, and much, much more!  They even showed us how to build a canoe out of concrete and float it down a canal.

Patrick and Evan build a bottle rocket!

Patrick and Evan build a bottle rocket!

I also learned a lot about the UNR campus and the classes students take there!  Next year I'm looking forward to taking another engineering camp.  Thanks a lot UNR!

Editor's note:  The Intro to Engineering Camp is offered by the UNR College of Engineering.  For information about the camps you can go to their website: http://www.unr.edu/engineering/outreach/camps.html

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