Community can tour NIU Engineering Building during March 28 event on career opportunities

NIU’s Engineering Building houses 46 labs where students, faculty, and staff work on everything from microchips to Formula One Cars.

NIU’s Engineering Building houses 46 labs where students, faculty, and staff work on everything from microchips to Formula One Cars.

Everyone wants their children to grow up and get good jobs, to become doctors, lawyers or engineers.

But what does an engineer actually do?

NIU STEM Outreach, DeKalb Public Library and the College of Engineering and Engineering Technology (CEET) invite families to tour the Engineering Building, find out about careers in engineering and see applied science in action.

Spoiler alert: Engineers do a lot more than just building bridges.

At 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 28, families are welcome to the NIU Engineering Building, 590 Garden Road, to see everything from crushing stress tests to dune buggies.

The group will tour working labs and find out how engineers transform scientific principles into the devices people use every day, from toys to cars to jet planes.

This free tour is part of DeKalb Public Library’s “Bright Futures: Electrify Your Mind @ Your Library” program, which encourages K-12 students to learn about concepts and careers in science, electricity and engineering.

An NIU engineering student works on the NIU MotorSports Mini Baja vehicle.

An NIU engineering student works on the NIU MotorSports Mini Baja vehicle.

If this tour of the Engineering Building sparks an interest, community members and school groups in DeKalb can also check out new books, DVDs and hands-on electricity kits from DeKalb Public Library’s circulating collection.

The kits include a snap circuit electrical kit, a Van de Graaf Generator Wand Kit, a renewable energy experiment kit and a wind-generated power kit. They are available for check-out to students in sixth-grade and up.

“Bright Futures: Electrify Your Mind @ Your Library” is made possible by a grant from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Foundation, the IEEE Life Members Committee, and the IEEE Chicago Section. Learn more about this program and other Bright Futures events on the STEM Outreach and DeKalb Public Library websites.

For more information, call librarian Steve Roman at (815) 756-9568 ext. 280. The DeKalb Public Library is open seven days a week and is located at 309 Oak St. in DeKalb.

by Gillian King-Cargile

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