ENGINEER IT! is an educational and entertaining traveling exhibition developed by the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) that presents science as an open-ended discovery process. Visitors of all ages explore the fun and creative sides of engineering by designing boats, buildings, bridges, windmills, and airplanes, and then testing their performance in water tanks, shake tables, and wind tunnels. In addition, visitors experiment with gears and pulleys, operate a cargo crane, and learn about careers in engineering through video presentations. In ENGINEER IT!, visitors engage in open-ended, multiple-outcome activities designed to present elements of the experimental process. Thematic areas include:
Water Area - Visitors learn about buoyancy and propulsion in stainless steel water tanks and design boats for specific functions. Design a speedboat by choosing a bow and stern and test your boat for speed in the long, low water tank. Test rubber-band powered paddleboats with varying numbers of paddles for their ability to traverse a water tank. Design a sailboat using simple materials and test it in a water tank with a wind source.
Structures Area - The Structures Area consists of a large walk-on earthquake platform and table-top shake tables that simulate earthquake conditions, plus free-standing bridge and arch building interactives, and basic activities using a cargo crane, gears, and pulleys. Construct a 4-story building then test it for earthquake survivability on a shake table, or build a 6-ft. tall structure and see if it will withstand a one minute simulated earthquake on the walk-on earthquake platform. Learn how to reinforce buildings by using cross bracing. Engineer and build different types of bridges using a computer program, a single piece of paper, or various blocks, and then test them for stability. Use a cargo crane to load cargo onto a conveyor belt, and experiment with gears and pulleys.
Wind Area - Visitors explore aerodynamic qualities in a large walk-in wind tunnel and by testing their paper airplane and windmill designs in two other small wind tunnels. Put on foam plastic wings and experience lift and drag in the walk-in wind tunnel. Design and test a propeller for speed and then measure its success in generating energy. Design a paper airplane and test it for flight stability.
See the ENGINEER IT! tour schedule.
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