GE Volunteers Host National Engineering Week Event at Children’s Museum

Inspired by Dr. Suess’ amazing “oobleck” fluid, Sir Isaac Newton’s laws of gravity and a passion for electronics disassembly, 20 Plainville, Conn., GE engineers celebrated the final day of National Engineers Week mentoring hundreds of students at the Imagine Nation Children’s Museum in Bristol, Conn.

National Engineers Week, a time dedicated to promoting careers in engineering and science education, provided the impetus to participate in this fun, collaborative opportunity cultivating the spirit of exploration. The Feb. 21 event attracted a variety of engineers from those just starting their careers to those with decades of experience.

A nine-year tradition, the engineers from GE’s Industrial Solutions business, set up interactive stations throughout the museum and invited students ages 3 to 13 to create, experiment and test the power of their imagination. Participants challenged gravity at the egg-drop station, using supplies such as plastic cups, duct tape, balloons and bubble wrap to engineer a safe egg landing from a 15-foot drop. As gravity performed as expected, the egg results varied but discovery always happened.

After, multiple trial and error attempts fueled by energetic and curious students, GE Edison Engineering Development Program (EEDP) Design Engineer Matt Hock commented “The trick to success appears to be a hard outer wrap, with a liberal inner padding.”

Tinkerers found a home at the “take-apart” station, where they constructively de-constructed common household items like computers, coffee makers and printers without triggering parental heartburn. Future chemists donned their lab coats to concoct the physics-defying “oobleck” liquid out of water, cornstarch and food dye, which converts to a solid with minimal human force such as hand mixing.

Mike Wood, Systems Manager for GE, led the event for his ninth straight year.  “It’s a fun event and a great way to honor the spirit of National Engineering Week,” added Wood, “Maybe today we initiated a spark of discovery for a future GE engineer!”

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