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Educators at the National Plastics Center and UML graduate students translated the principles of engineering into enjoyable activities for young students during February school vacation week.
More than 200 participants tried out activities relating to civil, chemical, mechanical and plastics engineering. Students built bridges and towers, explored the properties of adhesives, made rockets and built computerized robots.
Plastics Engineering Prof. Carol Barry supervised the graduate students. Bhavjit Ghumann, recent Ph.D. graduate in plastics, taught the bridge building; Jamie Cushman, Becky Shaw and John Mooskian, all master’s degree candidates in mechanical engineering, led “Zoom”-style engineering activities; and Dan Murphy and Scott Slabaugh, master’s degree candidates in plastics engineering, demonstrated fiber spinning.
“They were extremely helpful and a great addition to the program,” said Marianne Zephir, museum and collections director. “We couldn’t have done it without them.”
The National Plastics Center is a non-profit institution dedicated to preserving the past, addressing the present and promoting the future of plastics through public education and awareness. They offer hands-on science programming for schools and organizations, as well as demonstrations and exhibitions at the museum in Leominster.