The Michigan Engineer News Center

Engineering for generations

Parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and most importantly, kids joined together at Xplore Engineering 2015 to celebrate critical thinking and making our world work.| Short Read
EnlargeChildren around a table doing a scientific experiment
IMAGE:  Let's Chill: The Amazing Science Behind Frozen Liquids Session. Photo: Marcin Szczepanski

Parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and most importantly, kids joined together at Xplore Engineering 2015 to celebrate critical thinking and making our world work. The event has become an annual presence on University of Michigan’s North Campus. This year marked its third, offering 16 workshops which highlighted different aspects of engineering.

The Manufacturing Process Challenge, The Amazing Science Behind Frozen Liquids, and “How Much Does Your Bridge Hold?” were among the most popular and well-received workshops.

During the two-day event:

  • 205 families attended, 30 spent an evening overnight in the dorms
  • 96 workshops were held
  • 70 professors, lecturers and students from across the college delivered the workshops

Each day of workshops was followed by a tour of University facilities like Michigan Stadium and Crisler Center, the wind tunnel, and Mcity.

“I cannot even begin to express my appreciation for the College of Engineering to put on this event,” commented one appreciative grandparent. “It is a phenomenal way to expose young people to future possibilities. When I started college, I had no idea what careers were available. My ten-year-old granddaughter wants to be a vet and I was able to help her tie engineering degrees to her current career interest. Who knows what she will choose by college, but now she has an understanding of some possibilities. She most assuredly has a better understanding of her parents’ careers, both of whom are engineers.”

IMAGE:  Bacteria Runs The World Workshop. Photo: Joseph Xu

Xplore Engineering is planned and run by the College of Engineering’s alumni engagement program, MconneX.

“This is the event I look forward to most every year,” said MconneX Program Manager, Sandra Hines. “There’s a great sense of satisfaction in helping foster lasting memories with our alumni and their families. Many of the children attending are getting their first taste of what engineering really is.”

“We were blown away by what U-M put together,” said another parent. “We talk with our boys about STEM related topics frequently but to put them in an engineering lab engaged with other students, parents, Ph.D. students, and professors has the possibility of shaping their lives. It was one of our happiest days as parents in the last couple years. We left with great optimism about what our boys can do in life.”

Children around a table doing a scientific experiment
Portrait of Sandra Hines


Sandra Hines
Alumni Engagement Project Manager

Michigan Engineering
Communications & Marketing

(734) 647-5381

3214 SI-North

The electrons absorb laser light and set up “momentum combs” (the hills) spanning the energy valleys within the material (the red line). When the electrons have an energy allowed by the quantum mechanical structure of the material—and also touch the edge of the valley—they emit light. This is why some teeth of the combs are bright and some are dark. By measuring the emitted light and precisely locating its source, the research mapped out the energy valleys in a 2D crystal of tungsten diselenide. Credit: Markus Borsch, Quantum Science Theory Lab, University of Michigan.

Mapping quantum structures with light to unlock their capabilities

Rather than installing new “2D” semiconductors in devices to see what they can do, this new method puts them through their paces with lasers and light detectors. | Medium Read