Exploring science and technology at UMD

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Hundreds of local middle school and high school students attended the annual Science & Engineering Day at the University of Minnesota Duluth last Saturday. The free activity was hosted by UMD's Swenson College of Science and Engineering (SCSE).

"We pull out all the stops for this event," said Charity Rupp, Swenson College's Outreach Specialist. "The Chemistry Club will be making things explode, the civil engineering department will be showing off machines that break and measure the strength of concrete slabs. It's definitely going to be a cool, exciting day."

All of the science and engineering disciplines were on display. Participants could meet with current students and faculty to learn about their research, tour labs and find out more about the options for continuing their education or pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields.

Students also got to participate in hands on experiments and learning opportunities. For 13-year-old Ordean East student Addie Nelson, the best part was a chemistry experiment where students got to chemically change the surface color of copper pennies to silver and then a gold brass color.

"It was probably the coolest because I get to keep the pennies to show to my friends," Nelson said. "But I also liked seeing the chemical reactions. That was cool."

This year's science day was more accessible than before as organizers arranged buses to pick up and drop off youth and adult chaperones from local schools.