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Transportation YOU Takes on WPI’s Touch Tomorrow Festival

June 24, 2015 11:23 AM

On Saturday, June 15th, volunteers from WTS-Boston joined forces with the WTS student chapter at UMass Amherst to run a table at the Touch Tomorrow--A Festival of Science, Technology, and Robots at WPI. The event drew over 10,000 guests, giving budding scientists of all ages the chance to hear from NASA astronauts, check out research being done at labs around WPI’s campus, and try their hands at all kinds of activities and experiments.

The WTS table was making quite a splash inside the exhibitor’s hall, drawing a constant stream of kids to make “junk” boats.  We had information about water transportation, highlighting various types of boats in and around Boston—from large shipping vessels to commuter boats to recreational sailboats and many more. The kids were challenged to build boats of their own from our collection of craft materials and then test them out in our water bin to see how much “cargo” they could transport by loading up the boats with pennies. We kept track of how many pennies each boat held before sinking, letting the children put their names up on a leader board with their number of pennies. It became a friendly competition, with some kids checking back in over the course of the day to see if anyone had caught up to their scores. And as the day went on, the highest number of pennies the boats held continued to grow and grow as people came up with better and better designs. At one point in the afternoon, a girl made a boat out of only tinfoil that held our entire supply of over 350 pennies.  She held the top spot on our leader board for the rest of the day!

A special thank you to Ali Love and Heather Moulton of STV, as well as Marie Louis of the UMass Amherst Student Chapter, for their efforts. This trio was responsible for running the WTS-Boston table as well as the junk boat exhibit/friendly competition. WTS-Boston appreciates your support and dedication!

The WTS-Boston Outreach Committee of regularly participates at events like the Touch Tomorrow festival, promoting STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education in and around Boston as part of our Transportation YOU program. We also work with local schools and host our own events to introduce various aspects of the transportation industry to middle and high school students.  We are always looking for volunteers to help at the individual events, help with the planning of future events, and act as mentors. If you would like to become a part of the Outreach committee or be added to our list to receive regular emails about future events, please email Ali Love at Alison.love@stvinc.com.

To learn more about the Touch Tomorrow Festival, please go to: http://wp.wpi.edu/touchtomorrow/

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