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Monday, Feb. 26
The Indiana Daily Student

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WonderLab offers engineering activities to celebrate National Engineering Week

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The WonderLab Museum of Science, Health & Technology kicked off its National Engineers Week activities Sunday with an opportunity to participate in engineering-centered activities and meet local engineers.  

WonderLab is located on Fourth Street in downtown Bloomington. Sunday’s event was a special edition of the museum’s weekly STEM Sundays, where families can challenge themselves to create and design an engineering project.

Museum educator Sarah Lynn Wells said this is the second year WonderLab has put on these activities. Wells said Sunday’s event is focused on looking at a wide-range of engineering fields but that the rest of the week will focus on specific engineering.

The rest of the week’s activities will run from Tuesday to Thursday 9 a.m-6 p.m. and Friday and Saturday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Each day will feature a different field of engineering: civil engineering is on Tuesday, mechanical engineering is on Wednesday, computer engineering is on Thursday, electrical engineering is on Friday and biomedical engineering is on Saturday. On Thursday and Saturday afternoon, engineers at WonderLab will help kids with the activities, Wells said.

While the hands-on projects attract children from kindergarten until fifth grade, Wells said even older children and college students can participate.

“If there are older students that are interested in pursuing engineering, it’s a great opportunity, especially on Sunday or on Saturday, to be able to talk to an engineer and learn more about what they’re doing,” Wells said.

Education director Deirdre Sheets said she thinks WonderLab is helping children grow through engagement in STEM .

“In order to keep people engaged in the sciences for long-term, it’s really important to nurture that science identity at very young ages,” Sheets said.

One of WonderLab’s goals is to help show people who are underrepresented in engineering that they can be in the field, museum experience assistant director Sarah Ericson said.

“We have an opportunity at WonderLab to show people that anyone can be a scientist,” Ericson said.

Ericson also said she wants the community to realize how many skills engineers have.

“I would love to see the community have a new understanding of what it means to be an engineer and lose the sense of confusion that comes with what seems like a complicated, unaccomplishable goal for a career,” Ericson said.

Visitors have access to the activities with admission, which is $10 for nonmembers ages 1 and up.

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