Outreach Project: Workshops for Upward Bound & Talent Search

Goals for Spring 2013

We are welcome to hold one 35-40 min workshop per Upward Bound & Talent Search tutorial next Fall.  They have three tutorials next fall, which means there are 3 workshops in which we can create.  These workshops are a way to connect with high school students with interesting topics and experiences that we have encountered as undergraduate students.  We strive to inspire these students to be thoughtful about their education in these workshops.  This is our chance to get creative and test out our innovative ideas and strategies for education.

OBJECTIVE: Come up with a 35-40 min workshop for next semester on a topic of your choice.  We will then present these ideas to the director of Upward Bound for her final decision.  These workshops can be done alone or in teams.  You are welcome to enlist friends and faculty to assist.

A tentative schedule follows for progress in this project:

  • Have a chosen topic by Wednesday, April 17, 2013
  • Have a detailed plan for the workshop by Thursday, April 25th, 2013
  • Have a plan for how to obtain all materials/people needed for the workshop by Wednesday, May 2nd, 2013
  • Have a finished short summary of the workshop by Wednesday, May 8th, 2013
  • Meeting with Upward Bound & Talent Search on Thursday, May 9th, 2013

Meetings for this specific project will be every other Thursday at 8pm (meetings are indicated above).


Upward Bound & Talent Search: Engineering Outreach

Partnering with the Upward Bound and Talent Search programs and the Engineering Science Department at Virginia Tech, we organized demonstrations of two very interesting labs that undergraduates are partaking in: Bio-Inspired Fluids Lab (BIF) and the Multiphysics Research Group. Hoping to inspire high school students to consider science and engineering and excite them about the possibilities in the field, undergraduate and graduate students put together fun demonstrations for high-schoolers to learn more about how interesting their future in science can be.

The Bio-Inspired Fluids Lab (BIF) brought in a high-speed camera for students to play with. Students were able to smash nuts and oranges and watch it in slow motion (and backwards!).  They were also able to get in front of the camera themselves and watch what their lips look like when they vibrated them.

The Multiphysics Research Group brought in ferrofluids, which is basically a fluid that reacts to magnets.  Watch this video to get a better idea. Students were able to play with ferrofluids and magnets, watching how the two interact with each other.

Afterwards we asked for feedback and the students said that they want us to bring more experiments to them and that many of them found science and engineering more interesting after today.  They said that if they could change something about it they would have added more time so they can do more experiments and have time to try and figure things out for themselves.

It was a phenomenal day! Pictures are below:

Partnering with Upward Bound – 03/23

Promoting Engineering to High School Students

On Saturday March 23rd, 2013 we will be partnering with Virginia Tech’s Upward Bound Program and Engineering Science and Mechanics Department, we will be presenting two seminar presentations to students in the Upward Bound Program.

Upward Bound is an organization that helps students prepare to be the first in their families to go to college by providing tutoring, study strategies, test-taking skills and more.  Most importantly, Upward Bound gives students knowledge on how to research and apply to college and scholarships.

Through these research groups:

Bio-Inspired Fluids
Multiphysics Lab

we will inspire students to consider engineering in their future!