Durham School News

Annual Engineering Explorer Post at PKI

students become arches to demonstrate distribution of weightLearning for Life kicked off its annual engineering Explorer Post at the Peter Kiewit Institute on March 25. The post is a five week program which focuses on engineering concepts related to architectural engineering, construction engineering, and construction management. Each week begins with an interactive faculty lecture, which provides the framework for the hands-on building activity. Explorers apply the engineering principles learned from the lectures to their models all while following strict building guidelines outlined in each project booklet.

With 40 Explorers in attendance, there are eight groups each responsible for designing and constructing a new commercial building for the Omaha area. Materials are designed in-house and evenly distributed. Groups can request more materials for their project, but just as in real-life, this will increase the overall cost of their building potentially hurting their final score. Real-world applications are used throughout the project to give the Explorers a taste of the issues they could face as engineers and project managers. Fortunately in this environment, the risk is all fun, and hard-hats are not required.

In the photo on the right, architectural engineering professor, Dr. Ece Erdogmus, was teaching students about different types of structures used in buildings and thought the best way to demonstration the weight distribution of an arch was to use human subjects.

The Engineering Explorer Post is a part of the Learning for Life career exploration program. Visit http://exploring.learningforlife.org/ for more information.