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UWindsor Engineering Saturdays

The University of Windsor Faculty of Engineering Outreach Team invites elementary school students to learn more about engineering while taking part in hands-on activities through its new virtual UWindsor Engineering Saturdays series.

Students can use a computer to join the FREE virtual sessions from anywhere by signing into the University of Windsor’s Engineering Outreach Virtual Classroom Blackboard site. This is the official platform used by the University of Windsor for online learning.  

A guest link will be provided to those who register and will only work for the direct recipients of the email. If internet connection or power during the session is lost, participants can reconnect using the same direct recipient emailed guest link as before.

All information, including the materials list and how to access our Virtual Classroom site, will be emailed to registrants in a reminder email approximately one week before the event.

The Three Boats - Grades 3 to 7
10 a.m. to 12 p.m., Saturday, February 20, 2021

In this activity, participants will learn about fluid mechanics by designing three boats that are different shapes using different materials and that use the force of buoyancy to float. They will discover how boats of different materials will react with water and if they will float or sink before and after weights are added. Participants will have the freedom to build their vessels any way they like as long as they meet the provided requirements. Each boat must be able to float, carry a type of weight (such as marbles, rocks, coins, etc.) and be able to move freely in the water. The boats will be compared to one another to see which boats were designed best and which materials demonstrate these principles.

Note – each boat would be approximately 8 cm x 17 cm although the constructed boats can be smaller or slightly larger depending on the container used.  

Materials Needed

  • Popsicle sticks (regular sized)  
  • ​Sponges or craft foam
  • Cardboard
  • Tupperware/jar lid
  • Paper
  • At least 10 marbles/coins/similar sized rocks (or objects similar that can be used as weights)
  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • A type of large container (has to fit at least one of the boats)
  • Access to water for activity to fill containers
  • Extra decorative craft items to customize your boat (optional)

Registration closed

Build a Cardboard Mars Rover - Grades 3 to 7
10 a.m. to 12 p.m., Saturday, March 13, 2021

Participants will be using common household items and craft supplies to create their own version of a cardboard Mars Rover, which is a vehicle used to travel and explore across the planet Mars upon arrival. This activity involves the areas of Aerospace Engineering and Mechanical Engineering and participants will learn about the different parts of the Mars Rover, along with basic principles of tension and propulsion. Participants will use rubber bands to propel their rover forwards and they will test how different lengths of elastic can change the distance the rover will travel by building two different versions of the rover. 

Materials Needed for the small rover

  • 1 x 15cm x 15cm piece of corrugated cardboard (such as old Amazon boxes you may have; check your recycle bin for cardboard that may be usable) 
  • 2 x 13cm x 13cm pieces of corrugated cardboard (such as old Amazon boxes you may have; check your recycle bin for cardboard that may be usable)  
  • 1 x sharpened pencil or pen to serve as axle for the wheels 
  • 2 x hard candies with a hole in the middle (can be found at Dollarama, e.g. wintergreen breath mints) for your wheels (Note: you can also use any other suitable objects for wheels) 
  • 2 x rubber elastic bands (the same size, length, and tension)   
  • 1 x plastic straws   
  • 1 x marker or pen   
  • 1 x ruler   
  • 1 x scotch tape, electrical tape, or hockey tape    
  • 1 x scissors 

Materials Needed for the large rover

  • 1 x 15cm x 20cm piece of corrugated cardboard (such as old Amazon boxes you may have; check your recycle bin for cardboard that may be usable) 
  • 2 x 13cm x 13cm pieces of corrugated cardboard (such as old Amazon boxes you may have; check your recycle bin for cardboard that may be usable)   
  • 1 x sharpened pencil   
  • 2 x hard candies with a hole in the middle (can be found at the Dollarama, e.g. wintergreen breath mints) for your wheels (Note: you can also use any other suitable objects for wheels)
  • 3 x rubber elastic bands (the same size, length, and tension)   
  • 1 x plastic straws  

    Optional Supplies (to build satellite dish and antenna)   
  • 2 x 6cm x 6cm pieces of cardboard (1 for each rover)   
  • 2 x pieces of aluminum foil large enough to cover the 6x6 cardboard (1 for each rover)   
  • 8 toothpicks (4 for each rover)   
  • 2 buttons (1 for each rover)   
  • 4 pipe cleaners (2 for each rover)   
  • You may add other aesthetic elements if you wish (e.g. paint, stickers, artwork of a telescope, luggage holder etc.)  

Registration closed

Cross the Bridge - Grades 3 to 7
10 a.m. to 12 p.m., Saturday, April 10, 2021

In this structural and civil engineering focused activity, participants will create three overlapping bridges that support the rolling movement of marbles without collapsing or breaking. During the activity, participants will learn about structural, civil and materials engineering while testing various materials and incorporating them into their bridge designs and construction. At the end of the activity, a show and tell will take place to allow students to compare designs and discuss challenges and successes they had during their build.  

Materials Needed

  • Jumbo Sized Popsicle Sticks (min. 4 jumbo sticks + extras)
  • Regular-Sized Popsicle Sticks
  • Tape    
  • Scissors    
  • Cardboard    
  • Minimum of 3 Marbles (or similar object to travel through bridges)  
  • Ruler

Registration closed

Important Notes

  • For all events, participants will need to have their own supplies to complete the activities. Supplies include common household items readily found around the home that can also be purchased at a minimal cost. A supply list for each activity will be provided to registrants in advance. Please have all supplies ready at the beginning of each session. 
     
  • Parent/Guardian Permission Forms for each event are to be completed online during the registration process.
     
  • A registration link will be posted approximately 2 to 3 weeks prior to each UWindsor Engineering Saturday event. For future UWindsor Engineering Saturday events, please continue to check this webpage for updates.

Itinerary

15-20 minutes: Introduction. Parents/guardians are recommended to attend for the first 5-10 minutes for introductions and to be aware of what the activities will be. Participants will then be assigned into smaller groups with each group being led by one of our UWindsor Engineering Mentors.  

1 hour: After instructions are given, participants will be able to build their designs on their own. They are welcome to come back to the Virtual Classroom at any time and ask their UWindsor Engineering Mentor for any help, advice or tips or if they have any questions. The features of the Virtual Classroom will be explained in the introductions.

45 minutes: Everyone will return to the Virtual Classroom and we will have a show and tell, where all participants will be able to show their activity and explain what they have done. At the conclusion, we will also have a draw and choose three names for UWindsor Engineering Prizes that will be mailed out. Information for those to receive prizes from the draw will be sent to the parent/guardian's email that was used for registration. 

Contact

Mike Konstantino
Engineering Outreach Coordinator
mikek@uwindsor.ca