The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

Children meet engineering through interactivity, creativity

Dinosaur theme, food and crafts ensured fun, educational day for children
Volunteers at Kids’ Science and Engineering Day.

Not many younger children dream of becoming an engineer. The WSU Society of Women Engineers wants to change that through the annual Kids’ Science and Engineering Day, the 15th of which they held March 30.

Rylee Gannon, sophomore chemical engineering major and KSED program manager, said about 250 children attended, not including parents and guardians. Approximately 43 clubs joined in hosting activities for the event and many engineering students volunteered to help.

“What I was doing was awesome,” said Andrew Takacs, senior mechanical engineering major. “Because it’s not only the kids who are excited, but the faculty and students who are there. It’s honestly just one of my favorite days in Pullman.”

This is the third year Takacs has volunteered at the KSED, and he said no year has ever disappointed.

The theme this year was “Journey to the Jurassic.” As children entered each classroom to participate in a new activity or science experiment, they usually found themselves doing something dinosaur-related, Gannon said.

“For example, we had a volcano experiment and an edible soil dirt cup,” Gannon said. “So, some clubs obviously don’t do an activity directly related to the theme and some incorporate that into their activities.”

A volunteer, child and caregiver at Kids’ Science and Engineering Day.

Along with the activities and experiments, each child had a Jurassic-themed shirt and goodie bag to take home.

Both Gannon and Takacs agreed that the KSED was important for children to be exposed to STEM and understand that there are more careers to consider than the more “basic” options.

“I think engineering is really, really unique and creative, especially for children,” Takacs said. “Like a child’s mind is really, really powerful and strong and they can think outside of the box.”

This year, Takacs oversaw a classroom and taught children SolidWorks, a 3D design software. Using the software, he was able to show the children how to use different color properties to color the dinosaurs and change the background. He then taught them how to make other 3D objects and how to rotate objects such as a car tire.

Gannon said she was never exposed to engineering when she was younger and never considered it an option for her career.

“I think it’s important that kids are exposed to these ideas just so that they have a wider variety of career options to choose from,” Gannon said. “Because you don’t really hear many younger children say, ‘Oh, I want to be an engineer.’”

Gannon said she walked around the event and ensured everything was running smoothly. During that time, she received positive feedback from parents that they appreciated the hands-on aspect of the event, which made it different from science centers and museums that were more observational.

“All the kids are always really excited,” Takacs said. “I don’t think there’s a kid who had a bad day there.”

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About the Contributor
ANNA ADAMS, Managing editor
Anna Adams started at The Daily Evergreen her senior year in October 2023 as a life reporter and multimedia editor. Currently, in the spring 2024 semester, she is the managing editor. Anna is a Pullman native and is studying multimedia journalism. In her free time she enjoys reality tv, traveling and trying new coffee shops.