Abracadabra! Design a Bubble Wand
Hosted by: UT Austin Student Engineering Council
Visit our Booth: Saturday, February 27, 2021, 12 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Recommended Grades: K, 1st, 2nd
The Challenge: Transform a pipe cleaner into a uniquely shaped bubble wand using colorful pipe cleaners and bubble solution (or you can make your own bubble solution using 1 cup of water, 2 tablespoons of Karo syrup/glycerin, and 4 tablespoons of dishwashing soap). For an extra challenge, try only using one pipe cleaner to transform into a bubble wand!
Share your bubble wand design and bubble-blowing adventures on Flipgrid.
Recommended Materials: Pipe Cleaners, Bubble Solution, Shallow Dish/Deep Plate, Water, Karo Syrup, Dishwashing Soap
How does this activity connect to STEM and today's Girl Day theme of Designing for Communities, People and Animals? Engineers need to figure out the best design to complete a task. Designing a bubble wand to blow a perfect bubble resembles how engineers design everyday objects to complete tasks around you, including:
- Can Openers
- Toy Cars
- Park Benches
- Sky Scrapers
Engineers work in teams to calculate how strong or big the object needs to be, look at the science to figure out what materials will work best, consider what shape of the object will be most efficient, and more.
We’re a group of passionate students dedicated to making the engineering experience at The University of Texas at Austin the best it can be. How do we do that? To put it simply, we host impactful events and advocate for our fellow students.
Our mission is to serve the Cockrell School of Engineering and beyond, enrich the academic experience of engineering students, and cultivate an engineering community.
You can find out more informatiom about us on our website!
In the 1950s, students at The University of Texas at Austin received a new engineering building, later named Taylor Hall for Thomas Taylor, the college’s founder and first dean. While the building was modern, there was no study lounge for students or, more importantly, a place to eat. The nearest dining facilities were at the Texas Union on the other side of campus. The trek was a lengthy and inconvenient one, so students often opted to bring food from home.
As the fall 1952 semester began, five engineering students – Charlie Anderson, Dick Bailey, Tommy Fairey, Jerry Garrett, and Charlie Mills – approached Professors Leonardt Kreisle and Carl Eckhardt with two proposals:
- The first was to establish a governing body for the engineers, one that would both represent the interests of students and bring the professional and honor societies under a single umbrella. The result was the founding of the Student Engineering Council (SEC), separately incorporated by the State of Texas. Charlie Anderson was selected as its first chair, and Kreisle and Eckhardt volunteered as faculty advisors.
- The second was to create a study lounge and snack bar, which the SEC chose as its initial project.
The study lounge was not so easy, however. There simply wasn’t a means to shift or combine offices and classrooms to provide enough space, and there certainly weren’t funds for a separate facility. The SEC then offered a novel solution: why not create a basement underneath Taylor Hall?
University monies wouldn’t be available, and the estimated cost for the project was $48,000. Anderson suggested that the students provide the labor to excavate the basement, which would save $20,000, and that engineering alumni be asked to donate the construction cost.
Plans were drawn. Dubbed “Taylor’s T Room” in honor of the first dean, the basement would be 174 feet long by 43 feet wide, and dug to a depth of eight feet. It would include meeting spaces for student groups, a lounge and recreation area, and a small cafeteria managed by the University’s Housing and Food Service. The T Room would be available to the entire University community.
G-Day, or Groundbreaking Day, or, to some, “Gopher Day,” was slated for Thursday evening, December 11, 1952. Over 3,000 students and faculty dug from 7-10 PM over the course of years, removing almost 60,000 cubic feet of soil, rocks, and solid Austin chalk .
On Monday evening, May 13, 1957, nearly five years after its inception, Taylor’s T Room was formally dedicated.