Spreading Joy with Robots and Pasta

Dublin’s 2016 researcher night–called Probe, organized by the Science Gallery, and held at the front square of Trinity College Dublin--proved to be a hot bed for learning. One week before the event, the organizers invited us at Dublin Institute of Technology to provide an engineering challenge–and that we did! Even the rainy weather didn’t deter us from learning, having fun, and challenging a load of people to learn new skills.

Look at all the people who visited our booth–kids, teenagers, and parents a like–learning to build robots and pasta bridges.

Look at all the students from Dublin Institute of Technology learning to teach robotics and structural engineering.

Look at the DIT staff (Frank, Iliana, Damon, and Shannon) offering an expanded set of engineering activities, simplified enough for a rapid-paced exhibition booth. Many thanks to Ted, who assembled the robot kits before he dashed off to run a marathon, to Frank for building electronic game boards, to Iliyana for leading our first foray into a pasta-bridge-challenge-booth, and to Ruba for helping set up.

Thanks to all the DIT engineering students who got stuck in full-on, learning and helping others learn. Overall, we discovered that it’s not easy to build bridges from spaghetti in such a fast-paced environment, but we managed to anyway! For many of us, we also discovered what it’s like to teach engineering, and decided it might be a good career path.

In all, we learned and grew and had a lot of fun. I hope we also managed to make a difference in someone’s life last Friday!

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About shannonchance

Shannon Chance, PhD, LEED-AP, Registered Architect Marie Curie Research Fellow at Dublin Institute of Technology
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