Post Date: Feb 18 2019
To kick off Engineers Week every year, the North Dakota Society of Professional Engineers and the Gateway to Science coordinated Discover Engineering – an event at the Kirkwood Mall in Bismarck, ND, to teach kids about engineering and science through hands-on activities led by engineers across the state. This event engages and educates children in science and engineering early on to inspire future engineers. Five of our team members--Nic Cullen, Travis Johnson, Alan Kemmet, Brad Pfeifer, and Carl Entzie--hosted a table demonstrating static electricity to spark the kids’ interest and attention in everyday electricity. This event is held to remind everyone that it is never too early to learn like an engineer.
The team used a Van de Graff machine to demonstrate the scientific principals around static electricity. With this experiment, kids would touch the machine and make their hair stand on end, resulting in shock (the emotional kind) and awe from kids. Also, the small wand was used to create visible sparks between it and the larger machine so the kids could see static electricity at work.