Yesterday, NUSolar teamed up with Northwestern Formula Racing (NUFSAE) to introduce middle school girls to engineering as part of Career Day for Girls, put on by The Society of Women Engineers (SWE). As part of the event, girls got to tour various labs on campus, and we got to be on two of these tours. We gave a brief presentation on the benefits of project-based learning before taking them down to see the cars in the Autobay.
We showed the girls lay-ups of carbon fiber and let them feel how lightweight it was in comparison to steel. As they tried to bend it, they were impressed by its unexpected stiffness, and even more so when we told them the basic component of the Nomex honeycomb structure was paper. We also let a few of them sit in the new carbon fiber seat that will go in the Formula team’s next car.