CP Tech Center lab introduces teens to concrete
by Rebekah Bovenmyer
Jiong Hu helps two teen girls pour concrete molds.
Forty-five teens from across Iowa poured concrete molds and toured the CP Tech Center's concrete research lab at Iowa State University during the 4-H conference June 24–26, 2008.
About half of the participants were young women. The teens came to the workshop interested in college majors from structural engineering to business to child care. Only a few had worked with concrete before.
Workshop leaders Jiong Hu and John Kevern, researchers on CP Tech Center projects, showed the teens how to mix concrete and helped them make concrete paperweights.
During the lab tour, Hu and Kevern exploded concrete samples in a compression test, poured water through pervious concrete, and showed off testing equipment while students filled out a scavenger hunt activity sheet about the equipment.
Students who got all the scavenger hunt questions right were entered into a drawing for a t-shirt from Go!, CTRE’s online teen transportation magazine. One teen won a t-shirt each day.
After the tour, Rachael Larkin, an undergraduate research assistant at CTRE, explained how Iowa State’s concrete canoe team built a lightweight canoe and raced it in a regional competition.
“This is probably the best workshop I’ve been to [during the 4-H conference] because the kids got hands-on stuff to do rather than sitting and listening,” says Debbie McCrea, who helped plan the conference.
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