Explore Engineering Day provides an opportunity for high school girls to explore opportunities for women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) fields.
The day’s theme for the event at the Experimental Station in Wilmington, Del., was Engineers Make a World of Difference and Help Shape the Future.
DuPont has sponsored this program for more than 15 years and, this year, a record number of high school girls attended. Eighty-six sophomores and juniors from 23 local high schools in the New Castle County area learned about engineering’s impact on the world around us, participated in hands-on team activities, and interacted with female engineers and scientists. The activities, demonstrated by a group of DuPont volunteers, included:
- Solar Derby – Students learned about renewable energy and each team built a car powered by solar energy. Teams competed against each other in a race to see which car was the fastest.
- Kicking Machine – Students were challenged to use physics and design a contraption out of rubber bands, cardboard, and other everyday items that would “kick” a ping pong ball across the room. Students earned points if the ping pong ball was kicked into designated buckets.
- Strawberry DNA Extraction – Students learned about experimental procedures, biological sciences and engineering, and the importance of studying DNA to help save lives, cure diseases and understand how living things operate. Teams extracted DNA from fresh strawberries and bananas using a home-made lysis buffer.
- Dance Pad Mania – Students were challenged to design and build an electrical circuit that buzzed or lit up when stepped on. The electrical dance pads were then used to light up when dancing to music.
The girls also had opportunities throughout the day to listen to various speakers, including a presentation from the DuPont-sponsored MOE Robotics Team. A panel of DuPont women engineers and scientists with experience ranging from two to 20 years spoke about their careers in DuPont. Assistant Dean Chuck Shermeyer from the University of Delaware’s College of Engineering gave a presentation on Preparing for College – What Every High School Student Should Know about Science, Technology, Engineering and Math that was very well received.