This past weekend, our student chapter along with Eric Nordstrom, one of our Student
Activities Co-Chairs, worked a booth at Explore UT. We were explaining the concept of pressure drop by having students blow bubbles in a cup of water through progressively longer straws. The students we interacted with ranged in age from as little as five years old to seniors in high school. It was interesting to see the different ages respond to the experiment. While most of the younger students were just content blowing bubbles, some of them really got into the activity and were surprisingly knowledgeable about topics of pressure and related subjects like friction and leakage. The older students were able to talk to us a little bit more in-depth about the concepts and, despite the simplicity, seemed to enjoy the activity. We were kept relatively busy throughout the event and had some good attendance at our table. There were also a few groups that had actively sought out our table/activity and it was great to hear they were interested in what we did and had to say!
I (Hagen Fritz) was proud to represent the student branch of ASHRAE at Explore UT and help get students thinking about the topic of HVAC, MEP engineering, and related fields. I want to give a shout out to the other volunteers: Sangeetha Kumar, Viv Martinez, and Dana Whitten. They were extremely informative and tailored their explanations well to the different age groups that were present. We could not have done this without our great student activities chairs and volunteers so I thank you and here’s to another successful event!
Swarms of young girls and boys flooded the UT’s lecture halls on the morning of Saturday, February 23rd. Each accompanied by parents and chaperones as they explored different scientific activities, inspiring the children with the wonders of science. This year, UT ASHRAE took part in Girl Day, an annual campus-wide tradition seeking to introduce elementary aged girls to STEM careers. Dozens of interactive exhibits are lead by UT engineering students to ignite the wonder of math, physics, chemistry and engineering to girls. UT ASHRAE hosted a panel on “bunny copters,” a paper mechanism featuring artificial rotor blades which cause the ‘bunnies’ to spin while free falling. The girls were encouraged to cut, fold and optimize their design so that their bunny copter would spin the most and fly the highest when dropped over a fan. It was a wonderful experience working with the kids and watching their puzzled expressions turn into gasps of wonder when their bunny copters flew to the ceiling. The entire premise of Girl Day was to inspire and empower girls so that they could picture themselves living out a career in STEM. Judging by their reactions, I (Megan Canik) think we nailed it! We are looking forward to hosting many more panels for Girl Day in the future.
There is another Sustainable Dog House Challenge info session today from 4:00 – 5:00 pm in ECJ 3.122. If you weren’t able to make the first one, please stop by for some cookies, coffee, and information!