Teaching Community about Power and Energy During UIUC Engineering Open House STEM Outreach Event

The UIUC chapter fosters the importance of service for our members by sponsoring several large STEM outreach events.  For the last 98 years at UIUC’s Engineering Open House (EOH), the UIUC power and energy group has been teaching the public about the fundamentals of power and energy. Popular demonstrations this year included cooking food on magnetically levitating frying pans, using an exercise bike retro-fitted with a generator and power converters to illuminate LED lights, and launching projectiles with a magnetic ring cannon.

Engaging in Adult STEM Outreach Through Science Café Lecture About “Changes in Power Engineering in a Changing World.”

While EOH definitely inspires students to consider a STEM career, in 2017 our chapter organized a panel discussion at a local café to spark meaningful conversations with adults in the community about both how power and energy impacts their daily lives and how current investments in energy research are helping to ensure our nation’s energy sustainable and security. Report written by Tom Foulkes.

Figure 1: Magnetic ring cannon

Figure 2: Levitating frying pan

Figure 3: Retro-fitted exervise bike to compare amount of energy required to illuminate LED, incandescent and CFL bulbs

Figure 4: Dirod electrostatic generator

Figure 5: Panel of graduate students shared how their research impacts the lives of community members who attended the Science Café STEM outreach event

Figure 6: Food for this event was sponsored by the IEEE Central Illinois Section.