Building the Future

The 2019 Building the Future outreach event was held 14 November 2019

Program description: Building the Future is an outreach activity of the Iowa Alpha Chapter of Tau Beta Pi – The Engineering Honor Society. The event brings middle school students and their teachers to the ISU campus to experience hands-on engineering. Activities are based around the scenario of a tornado hitting a small town and what engineers can do to help. Following a general session at the beginning of the day, the students will undertake 4 different activities all specially designed to introduce them to various types of engineering:

(i) The students visited the Iowa State University Wind Tunnels to observe the effect of high winds and tornados on buildings.

(ii) Using popsicle sticks and brass fasteners, they built a bridge to replace one destroyed in the tornado that allows an ambulance to cross a ravine.

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(iii) Using popsicle sticks, plastic spoons and other materials they built a wind energy generator to provide power for the emergency efforts.

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(iv) Using groundwater models they investigated how chemical spills or other pollution might affect the ground water and water supply for the town.

The day concluded with a general session about what they learned that engineers do.

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Number of Participants: Due to space restrictions this year participation was limited to approximately 50 middle school students.

Activities:  Groups of students rotated between the 4 activities, each of which lasted about 45 minutes.

Lunch: two pieces of pizza and a drink was provided to participants.  Participants were also free to bring their own lunch.

Event date/time: The 2019 Building the Future event was held on Thursday, 14 November 2019 from  9:00 am to about 1:30 pm.

Following is a flyer describing the 2019 Building the Future event (pdf)

Location: Activities took place in the Sukup Hall Atrium and room 1215, and Howe Hall Atrium and room 1380.

Parent Permission Agreement: To participate in Building the Future the following agreement had to be completed and signed by the student’s parent/guardian and brought to event (pdf)

For more information contact LeVern Faidley, Iowa Alpha Chief Advisor, at levern@faidley.org or the Iowa Alpha Project Officers by sending an E-mail to: tbp-projects@iastate.edu.