Boy in virtual reality headset

Guests explore virtual reality, robotics, flight, and more at Engineering Everywhere event

LSC News

From cool little gadgets to massive architectural creations, engineers plan and build problem-solving marvels that touch our lives in ways we barely notice.

From Feb. 14-23, LSC celebrated engineers and engineering at our Engineering Everywhere event. During this time, we showcased amazing technology, welcomed expert engineers as our special guests, and encouraged families to try their hand at engineering skills in special labs and experiences throughout the building.

Check out just a few of the highlights from the week’s festivities:

Fighting zombies via virtual reality

Girl in virtual reality headset

The New Jersey-based company, WisEngineering, designed a virtual reality headset that guests tried out during their visit. In this VR adventure, guests stopped zombies from attacking the Science Center, then sat back in the cockpit of the Apollo 11 mission to feel the experience of lifting off from Earth to get to the Moon.

Creating structures with waffle blocks

Boy in waffle block structure

All week, young learners explored the basics of civil engineering by creating their own structures using fun, colorful waffle blocks.

Meeting LSC’s Artist-in-Residence, Chico MacMurtrie

LSC’s Artist-in-Residence Chico MacMurtrie working on Border Crossers structure

Guests peeked into the future of robotics by checking out the work of LSC’s Artist-in-Residence, Chico MacMurtrie.

MacMurtrie is a creative, innovative robotics expert. Guests saw work from his series Border Crossers in progress as MacMurtrie and his team constructed a piece in Governors Hall.

The lightweight robotic sculptures are made of strong fabric tubes controlled by a robotics system that triggers them to inflate. As these unique robots “grow” before your eyes, they form high arcs and connect into bridge-like structures. To MacMurtrie, this project “envisions technology as a positive tool to establish dialogues beyond borders.”

Keeping our shoreline safe

Boy and girl do ecosystem experiment

At our “Seashells, Sewalls on the Sea Shore” lab, guests stepped into the wading boots of a coastal engineer. Kids learned how to keep our shoreline safe from rising sea level and erosion by testing and comparing models of structures that might help save our precious Hudson Valley ecosystem.

Exploring the basics of flight at LSC Airlines

Boys doing experiment with airplanes

All week, guests explored the basics of flight at LSC Airlines. Via foil and Play Doh, guests were challenged to modify a wooden airplane to make it as steady as possible by creating the perfect weight balance.

After making a structure, guests tested it in the wind tunnel to see if it would fly in a straight line.

Touring LSC’s mysterious fifth floor

Family in hard hats touring LSC's fifth floor, where the engineering marvels happen

Most LSC guests are familiar with the four floors of our building, but what about the mysterious fifth floor?

During Engineering Everywhere, guests received a behind-the-scenes tour of our fifth floor – where all the engineering brilliance happens – guided by LSC’s Chief Engineer, Ron Taglieri.

Here, guests saw the boilers, chillers, pipes, cables, and filters that keep the building running, and even learned about LSC’s eco-friendly initiatives. For example, did you know our new boiler installation gives LSC a 27 percent reduction in gas consumption?

Discovering the future of flight via Kitty Hawk’s The Flyer

Girl looks at Kitty Hawk's The Flyer aircraft

Kitty Hawk, an innovation company based out of Mountain View, California, brought along their aircraft, The Flyer, to our Engineering Everywhere celebration. The Flyer is an all-electric VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) single-seat aerial vehicle that employs 10 individual lift fans to fly 3 feet to 10 feet over water.

Kitty Hawk hopes that one day this aircraft could solve commuter issues facing big cities. It has been tested over 25,000 times!

Competing in the Brick-Lifting Challenge

Family shows off paper/brick structure at Brick-Lifting Challenge

At the Brick-Lifting Challenge – an activity designed to explore shapes, tension, and basic physics – guests were challenged with using only a plain piece of paper to design a structure that could lift a real brick one inch off the ground.

By folding the paper, our engineers discovered that they could make stronger building materials. They also explored different shapes, and found that triangles and circles are the strongest shapes for building.

Some of our engineers even stacked not one, not two, not three, but four bricks on top of their paper structures!

Meeting special guests and engineer groups

Boy does chemistry experiment at Engineering Everywhere

All week, we invited special guests and groups to help our visitors discover all the unique ways to be an engineer!

A few of our guests included representatives from the American Chemical Society (featured above), the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Museum of Interesting Things, and the ITP New York University Graduate Program. We were also joined by David Bard, a hobbyist inventor who displayed his amazing elaborate sculptures using K’Nex pieces.

Thanks to all who came out for Engineering Everywhere! Be sure to follow us on the LSC blog, as well as on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, for updates on exciting events like this one at the Science Center.

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