Published On: Sat, Feb 27th, 2016

Engineering Family Day at the National Building Museum

Now that Najwa is getting older and starting to understand these events we go to, we went to the National Building Museum’s Engineering Family Day for the exposure to engineering careers and activities. And I made sure she spoke to some of the ladies who were engineers, scientists and so forth, to see that it’s not just a guy thing.

At this station, the popcorn is fed into a hole in the bottom of the contraption and erupts through the tall cylinder raining popcorn for the kids to catch in their nets. I doubt they got the concept, focused more on catching as much popcorn as possible, but it was fun.

Family Engineering Day at the National Building Museum

Family Engineering Day at the National Building Museum

Engineers design the bridges you drive across, improve the food you eat, perfect the fabrics you wear, and even build computers like the one you’re looking at right now. Discover how professional engineers turn ideas into reality and do some engineering and problem solving of your own. Celebrate Engineers Week, February 21 – 27, by participating in this free, hands-on, and fun-filled family day with over 20 activities designed for kids.

Bechtel was there giving a demonstration of what happens during an earthquake to a structure build without the piles, support beams pounded into the ground (I always wondered why in wrestling it was called a pile driver). When the earth shakes, water rises out the soil making the ground unstable. The beams stabilizes the structure; hence, the structure survives an earthquake.

Family Engineering Day at the National Building Museum

But, Najwa just wanted to play in the sandbox.

Family Engineering Day at the National Building Museum

Family Engineering Day at the National Building Museum

Other activities had Najwa making slime. Mixing two liquids — water with borax in it and Elmer’s glue — rubbing them together in a Ziploc bag, the liquid turns solid, into a slimy object that can be handled, shaped and whatever else kids do with slime.

But the best part, for me at least, was Najwa talking to the African-American woman there who explained to Najwa that she was a scientist and she works with elements to find ways to make objects glow in the dark. How does she do it? Science!

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About the Author

David Gaines

- David Gaines is a Washington, DC, resident transplanted from North Carolina whose dream career was a newspaper writer but settled for the recruiting industry and simply blogging about whatever thoughts crosses his mind.

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