Design of Activity Station

Photo of Jason Embertson, Elizabeth Johnson, Tim Van Ruitenbeek Students: Jason Embertson, Elizabeth Johnson, Tim Van Ruitenbeek

Sponsor: Austin Children's Museum

Date: Fall 2008

The team was asked to create an activity station with an intuitive appearance for kids in the 5-11 year old age range. Components should provide relative motion and a "wow factor" to attract children to use the final product. Durability and safety are very important as the finished goods will be used by a large number of young museum patrons.

To create open-ended, non-consumable building components along with an environment that will teach children basic engineering concepts.

The Austin Children's Museum team chose to create an educational obstacle course where a wide variety of custom and off-the-shelf building materials can used to solve various challenges. The obstacles in the prototype teach the concepts of kinetic and potential energy. Modular subsystems are designed to entertain the younger age group as well as to provide a basis for older children's creations. Finally, building sets are specified that work well with the course and illustrate the basic engineering concepts being taught.

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