From non-destructive evaluation imaging to superhydrophobic surfaces,
Niskayuna students got a glimpse of future possibilities, for our world and
perhaps for themselves, during a visit to GE Global Research on Tuesday, July
14, as part of the Engineering Institute for Young Women.
The week-long Engineering Institute aims to inspire female students about opportunities in engineering and related fields, while raising awareness about the incredible impact these fields have on our world. The camp is in its fourth year and is supported by GE.
There are 41 students entering grades 7-9 participating this year. Students are
engaging in a variety of hands-on activities, with a different focus each day of
the camp, from underwater robotics to assessing water quality at the Alplaus
Kill later in the week.
The Global Research visit allows students to learn about engineering fields and cutting-edge applications from leading scientists, engineers and researchers working at the premier facility right in their hometown. Students built electronic circuits and rotated through demos that have a implications for a wide array of industries.
GE chemical engineer Kate Gurnon talked to students about the field of rheology, which is the study of the flow of matter, and the exciting and practical innovations it can lead to. (Example: Soccer shin guards that are just like socks except they stiffen only when they need to, such as when a ball or cleat strikes them.) Gurnon said she always enjoys working with student groups.
"I followed my passion and made all of my career and academic decisions based on what I love," she said. "If I can get any of these kids to see something and say, 'Oh, I want to do that,' it's been a successful day for me."
Gurnon participated on a panel discussion on women, engineering and technology with three of her colleagues as the culminating activity of the day for the Niskayuna students.