Ashley and Greg performed summer research at Boeing Seattle
As part of STEM Day at UCF, the IRES students, with help from other lab members, hosted two activities for groups of high school and middle school students. In one activity, a gas turbine engine was deconstructed into three different sections. The kids learned about how gas turbine engines work at the individual stations that highlighted the engineering of each section, with the help of a 3D-printed cutaway model (borrowed from the UCF chapter of ASME). To emphasize the international aspect of science and engineering, we taught them some common and technical words in German, and encouraged them to teach us relevant words in the languages they knew. The kids translated a total of 23 words in over 6 different languages!
In the second activity, the kids learned about spectroscopy and each built a simple spectroscope, which they got to take home with them. Spectroscopes are a simple tool to introduce kids to the field of spectroscopy, which is a powerful diagnostic tool for engineers as well as a scientific tool. One of our lab teams is using a type of spectroscopy called photoluminescent piezospectroscopy to investigate the effects of sand ingression on the coatings of turbine blades.
The kids enjoyed themselves and learned a bit, and the volunteers have a fun time as well.
A special thanks to our volunteers: Sanjeev Ballapuram-Murali, Taiason Cole, John Hatchitt, Ryan Hoover, Cesar Lopez, and Brooke Sarley, and IRES students Estefania Bohorquez, Debraliz Isaac-Aragones, Owen Pryor, and Lin Rossmann.
All photos by Paul Kelly, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, UCF