Softec Robotics Expo 2019
On September 20, 2019, at the Madonna Inn Expo Center, Cal Poly Society of Women Engineers led a hands-on engineering activity for around 175 elementary and middle school-age students at the annual Softec Student Expo. Students explored booths ranging from our activity to VEX’s Tower Takeover game to giant FIRST robots that could collect and shoot balls. Cal Poly SWE ran a booth where students could participate in a hands-on engineering activity through the use of household supplies.
We tasked the students with building a gliding car out of typical craft supplies. With cardstock wings and expertly folded tails, the cars taught the students about the drag force experienced by the cars in the air. Additionally, students learned about the simple mechanics of a wheel and axle through a cardboard, skewer, and straw implementation. After test-launching their cars, students were able to make improvements to increase the time of flight before testing again. By challenging students to reimagine their designs and rework their cars, they learned more about the engineering process. The Softec Robotics Expo is one of the many ways that Cal Poly SWE can reach out to the local community to inspire the next generation of engineers.