raSmith volunteers Andy Utic, Andrew Stasiukevicius and Tracy Diamond.
Members of raSmith’s Young Professionals Group shared their love of engineering and science by volunteering at the ASCE–Wisconsin Section’s STEM Expo on Saturday, October 8. Attendees of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Expo included kids of all ages, from elementary through high school.
One of the exploration station tables led by the raSmith volunteers focused on disappearing water. By pouring colored water over a salt compound, participants discovered the salt’s high absorbency property. The water “disappeared” and was absorbed by the salt, bringing into question the importance of soil properties and stability as they relate to infrastructure and foundations.
Civil engineer Andrew Stasiukevicius helps children with the disappearing water experiment.
At another station, the firm’s volunteers helped participants explore the basics of buoyancy through the “Build a Watercraft” activity. Using straws, tape, plastic wrap and a cup, children were prompted to build a model that could float. Once confident with their watercraft, they tested it out by placing it in the water with as many weights as possible in the cup until their model went under water.
A fun day was had by all, parents included, as simple science experiments were used to demonstrate real-world engineering concepts such as absorbency, soil stability and buoyancy. The event was held at the Milwaukee School of Engineering campus in downtown Milwaukee. In addition to having four volunteers representing the firm, raSmith was also a bronze sponsor of the event.