Workshops

Get Ready to Start Xploring!

Xplore Engineering offers 17 workshops in different engineering disciplines; each workshop is 90 minutes long. Every family will have the opportunity to participate in 3 workshops each day. No guarantees can be made to ensure enrollment in a particular workshop as registration is on a first come, first served basis.

2019 Workshop Index 

  • Designing a Siege-Worthy Castle (new)
  • Pickin’ Up Good Vibrations (new)
  • Digital to Physical Objects 
  • Neural Engineering
  • How Much will Your Bridge Hold?
  • The Life and Death of Plastic
  • Wireless Communications Using Lasers (new)
  • Space, Earth & You . . . we are all radioactive
  • The Manufacturing Process Challenge
  • Engineering a Cure for Cancer
  • Quadcopter Quidditch
  • Up, Up and Away!
  • Cracking Bones
  • Can You Walk on or Bounce a Fluid?
  • Driverless Cars
  • A Computer’s Heart
  • eXtraordinary Materials

 

Workshop Descriptions


Designing a Seige-Worthy Castle

Design the strongest and sturdiest castle in all the land! Learn about design constraints and building techniques as you construct your castle… then try to knock it down with a catapult. Through builds and rebuilds, design a castle strong enough to withstand any siege.



Pickin’ Up Good Vibrations

What exactly is sound? How does it relate to vibrations we can feel and how do devices like speakers actually work? Join the Michigan Acoustics group and learn about the science of sound through a serious of hands-on demos and hear first-hand how engineers use sound to solve a variety of real-world problems!


Digital to Physical Objects

Join us behind-the-scenes in the Duderstadt Center’s Fabrication Studio to learn the basics in design and translating from digital to a physical object. Get hands-on experience with digital fabrication technology to create the perfect take away item!



Neural Engineering: Talking & Listening to Nerves

Your nervous system is as fast as lightning! Accidentally touch a hot stove? Before you even realize it, you’ve pulled your hand away. Learn how sensations are turned into feelings and ideas into actions. We’ll use insects to teach you how to engineer the nervous system and show you how neuroscience can move robotic arms with brainpower yp help paralyzed people walk. 


How Much will Your Bridge Hold?

Girl testing her popsicle stick bridge strength

Bridges are some of the biggest, coolest structures we use every day. And now, you can design and build your own. You’ll learn how engineers create safe, strong bridges and see how your own design stacks up in the bridge strength competition.



The Life and Death of Plastic

Did you know that your polyester T-shirt and your pop bottle are made out of the same material? They’re both made of the same polymer! Aided by goo and marshmallow fluff, we will teach you all about polymers and one of their largest applications, plastics! We discuss the importance of recycling and the process of remanufacturing plastic bottles into new items.


Space, Earth & You . . . we are all radioactive

Radiation is all around us, anywhere from the food that you eat to the carbon in your bones. This lab explores ways to detect and even see the radiation on earth and from even outer space. You’ll learn fundamentals of radiation and build your very own radiation detector!



The Manufacturing Process Challenge

Kid works with jolly ranchers in the manufacturing process workshop

You’ll work with a team to invent a process for wrapping candy and getting it to its final destination, then go head-to-head with other teams to see whose process is the fastest and best quality. Along the way, you’ll learn all about the fundamentals of industrial operations engineering including continuous improvement, and quality control.


Engineering a Cure for Cancer

Engineers design technology and biologists explore cancer – put them together and you’re one step closer to a cure! Join the Biointerfaces Institute to learn how different labs are using engineering to understand cancer and find treatments. Various labs will host interactive hands-on activities for you to touch and explore.


Quadcopter Quidditch

Quadcopters range in size from airplanes to a bumblebee. These drones are used for everything from inspecting Mt. Rushmore to secret military missions. Learn how to fly a small quadcopter, practice flying through hoops on our agility course, then test your skills in a team game of quadcopter quidditch.  


Up, Up and Away!

kid working on rocket in rocket workshop

Build and launch your own rocket and launching system as you learn about the principles that power these amazing machines. You’ll even compete with other students to see whose rocket goes the furthest.



Cracking Bones

kid working in the cracking bones workshop

Learn about the types of cells and proteins found in bones and their roles in bone strength. We’ll compress and bend bones under different conditions to discover how strong bones are, what can affect their strength, and how to strengthen your own!



Can You Walk on or Bounce a Fluid?

Can you walk across a pool full of fluid? You’ll learn how as you discover viscosity, shear, flow, and many other weird and fascinating properties of everyday fluids. We’ll test your ability to walk across a pool of Newtonian fluid.



Driverless Cars

Cars are getting smarter all the time, even smart enough to drive themselves! Learn how cars use sensors, programming logic, and controls. Next, you’ll incorporate them all into a semi-autonomous vehicle to race through a maze.



A Computer’s Heart

Computers are everywhere! They surround us and connect the world together! How do computers play games? How does a file appear on your screen? Explore a  computer’s hardware and processors, and learn how software uses these modern marvels to create cool applications and artificial intelligence!


eXtraordinary Materials

Have you ever seen an ordinary item do something totally unexpected?  In the world of materials, we are always finding new ways to make substances with surprising properties.  In this workshop, you will use real research tools – high magnification microscopes, cryogenic substances, rare earth magnets, and more – to see that everyday materials can be far from ordinary!