Students invited to Explore the Worlds on March 5 at Penn State York

Explore the Worlds of Engineering, Science, and Information Sciences and Technology from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 5, when Penn State York opens its doors to middle and high school students.

The program offers a variety of hands-on activities for students including: "DNA Detectives" with Robert Farrell, associate professor of biology; "The Colorful World of Chemistry," with Andy Landis, assistant professor in chemistry; and "Lego Mindstorm Robotics" with Michael Marcus, associate professor of engineering. Other topics include "How Strong is Your Bridge?" with Chuck Gaston, assistant professor of engineering; "Build a Computer," with Joe Royer, system administrator; and "Spinning the Web" with Emily Wenk, instructor in information sciences and technology. A series of workshops for parents about choosing a college and paying for college also will be offered throughout the day. Stay an hour or the entire time. Penn State York faculty will lead students in a variety of activities that introduce them to science, engineering, and information sciences and technology. 

Beginning at 2 p.m., watch the breaking of the bridges during the Bridge Building Competition being held in conjunction with Explore the Worlds. The event, sponsored by the Lincoln Chapter of the Pennsylvania Society for Professional Engineers, offers high school students a chance to construct a bridge and then test it to see how strong it is. Bridge registration begins at 12:30 p.m. and all bridges must be registered prior to the start of the competition. Bridge kits are still available and can be picked up at C. S. Davidson, 38 North Duke Street, York, Pa. For additional details on this event, contact Tim Koppenhaver at 717-846-4805. This program is free and open to the public.  Visit and click on events for more information.

For more information on Explore the Worlds, visit the Web at or call 717-771-4040 or 1-800-778-6227.

 Schedule and workshop descriptions:

-- 9 a.m.                 Workshop Registration

-- 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.  Workshops for students/Workshops for parents   

-- 1-2 p.m.              Complimentary Lunch

-- 2 p.m.                  Bridge Building Competition

                               Watch or be a Participant!

                               Preregistration for bridge competition is required.

“DNA Detectives”

Robert Farrell, associate professor of biology

10 a.m., 11 a.m. and noon

The world of forensics is becoming more sophisticated each day. The techniques and methods have not only revolutionized the criminal justice system, but have also captured the imagination of a very large television viewing audience. In this workshop, students will have an opportunity to learn about the standard techniques and equipment commonly used to solve crimes; some of the myths surrounding the discipline will also be dispelled. Questions about Penn State's forensics major will be answered.

“How Strong is Your Bridge?”

Chuck Gaston, assistant professor of engineering

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Using only "LEGO®-type" blocks and a limited amount of masking tape, design and build a bridge which will be weighed and then tested to destruction. The measure of efficiency is maximum load supported/bridge weight.

“Spinning the Web”

Emily Wenk, instructor in information sciences and technology

10 a.m., 11 a.m. and noon

Find out how programmers create Web pages in this hands-on workshop. You’ll learn how to turn a simple text file into a Web page, how to get images to display, how to change background and font (type) colors, how to use different fonts, and how to use an image for a background. Participants will go home with a CD with the Web page on it and plenty of reference to helpful websites where more images and information are available free.

“Build a Computer”

Joe Royer, systems analyst

10 a.m., 11 a.m. and noon

Learn how to build a computer. Students will be grouped in pairs and will work together putting a computer together from scratch.

“LEGO Mindstorm Robotics”

Michael Marcus, associate professor of engineering

10 a.m., 11 a.m. and noon

Come build and program a robot vehicle complete with touch sensors.

“The Colorful World of Chemistry”

Dr. Andy Landis, assistant professor in chemistry

10 a.m., 11 a.m. and noon

When atoms combine to form compounds, colorful and sometimes violent reactions can take place. The nature of these reactions will be shown through a series of hands-on demonstrations involving the colorful chemicals that compose fireworks and the explosive reaction of hydrogen and oxygen.



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Last Updated March 21, 2011