Local high school students tour the Cornell Baja Racing headquarters, Nov. 18, as part of Engineering Exploration Day at Cornell.

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Gliders, circuits, siphons: Local students experience engineering at Cornell

Building wooden gliders, engineering electrical circuits and designing a siphon were among the activities local high school students participated in on Nov. 18 as part of Engineering Exploration Day at Cornell.

Thirty students from Tompkins and neighboring counties were on campus as members of the Upward Bound program, a U.S. Department of Education initiative aimed at introducing higher education to K-12 students who may not have considered pursuing a college degree. The Upward Bound program at Cornell is facilitated by the Einhorn Center for Community Engagement.

“It was exciting to watch local students from an array of high schools near Cornell’s campus embrace the activities with such enthusiasm,” said Robyn Koren, assistant director of Cornell Engineering Admissions, which hosted the event. “For many of them, this was their first introduction to engineering, so I’m thrilled we had such a talented roster of engineering students and faculty who could create this memorable experience.”

Koren opened the day with a “What is Engineering” presentation before students delved into topics such as aeronautics, digital logic, combustion, robotics and fluid dynamics.

Local high school students participating in Engineering Exploration Day designed and built wooden gliders with the help of Cornell’s Design Build Fly student project team. The gliders were later tested down a long hallway in Upson Hall.

Students toured the Cornell Baja Racing headquarters, where they learned about the student project team and the vehicles they build and race.

Students built and tested their own circuit boards with the Cornell Custom Silicon Systems student project team.

Students learned about physics and fluid dynamics during a design challenge in which they had to engineer a siphon using drinking straws.

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