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Build a Better Future

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IP Requirements Edit Edit

Each interest project contains numerous activities, which are organized into four different categories: Skill Builders, Technology, Service Projects,  and Career Exploration.  By doing these activities, you will gain insights about yourself - your strengths and weaknesses, your likes and dislikes.  You will have a range of new experiences, and you will develop valuable  skills and expertise in specific areas. To earn an interest project award, you must complete at least seven activities as follows:

  • Two Skill Builders activities
  • One Technology activity
  • One Service Project activity
  • One Career Exploration activity
  • Two activities from any category that you choose

OR FOLLOW THE NEW VERSION of earning IPP's:

  • Do the one REQUIRED activity (or Skill Builder)
  • Do ONE activity of your choice for each of the THREE 

categories (LEARN, DO, SHARE) 

  • Design and do ONE activity of YOUR OWN
  • Create a short REFLECTION after you've completed all of the activities

Skill Builders

1. Learn about some of the things engineers must consider when designing amusement park rides, including how electrical circuits are used in bumper cars, what the safest maximum speed for a carousel is, and how many people can ride a  roller coaster in an hour. Then, with the guidance of a science teacher, engineer, or mentor, design your own ride. If possible, construct a model. Amusement parks often have kits available for school groups).

2. Study at least two different types of blueprints that are created in the  design of a building; floor layout; diagrams of electrical, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning areas, and specifications for fire protection, plumbing, etc.

3. Tour a manufacturing plant. Find out what types of machines are used in the manufacturing process and why, and what measures are taken to improve  product safety, productivity, and quality.

4. Compare several brands of one mechanical product. Look for differences in their external design and features. Which brand looks easiest to use and why?  Which is the most attractive? Why? Now design your own version of a product, making it both practical and artistically appealing.

5. Select one item that is recyclable, such as paper, plastic, glass, or metal, and find out how it is converted into a new product. Draw a simple  diagram of the steps involved. Try to name two or three more products into which this item can be recycled. Where and how is this done? find out if chemicals or heat must be used for the recycling process.

Technology

1. Learn about computer-aided design (CAD) programs. Observe a demonstration of how CAD is used to design items. Then create your own design using CAD. (CAD programs  can be found in local industries, high schools, or colleges.)

2. Make a  list of 8 - 10 items that did not exist 25 years ago, such as cellular phones or  CD players. Find out how three of the items work today and imagine how they might look in the future. Improve upon their function and design.

3. Find  out about five devices used to assist people with disabilities, describing how  they work and hwo they improve the person's life. Hospital rehabilitation  departments, rehabilitation centers, or organizations focusing on particular disabilities provide good information. Brainstorm ways in which devices are  adapted, or design a device to help someone who has a particular disability perform a function that is difficult for her.

4. Learn about the infrastructure in your community, such as traffic lights or the water  system. Make an in-depth investigation of one community. Describe the technology  needed to ensure continued safety and efficient service to the public.

5. Investigate how three changes in car design have enhanced safety in the past 10  years.

Service  Projects

1. Volunteer at a local science center that highlights technology. Assist in  building an exhibit during a special event or act as an exhibit interpreter.

2. Plan or help facilitate an "engineering" activity day with hands-on projects for younger girls. Address at least three different unit
s of engineering. This might be in conjunction with National Engineering Week (February).

3. Spend a day volunteering in construction or in improving the environment through a local group effort. Perhaps you can paint, garden, help with minor repairs, or assist  with building something at camp or in your community. Learn to use basic tools  of construction, plumbing, or electrical work under the guidance of a skilled  and knowledgeable mentor. See Safety-Wise for recommended safety precautions.

4. Plan an exhibit of engineering field for your school, council, or community, perhaps for a career day. Invite women engineers to speak and exhibit. Include a design  contest or hands-on activities.

Career Exploration

1. Learn about careers in various fields of engineering by using your local library, by writing to engineering societies or to the Junior Engineering Technical Society (under the National Society of Professional Engineers), or by using the Internet  to do additional research. Find out the requirements for training for mechanical, electrical, or civil engineers.

2. Shadow  an engineer for a day. Ask her what tools she uses in her job. What is most and least satisfying about her job? What challenges does she encounter and how does  she overcome them in her work? Present what you have learned in a class discussion or meeting of your troop or group or club. Or invite the engineer to  make a presentation.

3. Find  out about the engineer's contribution to advancing medical technology in the  design of implants, CAT scans, etc.

4. Use a computer simulation program to practice making the kind of decisions engineers make.

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