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'Engineering Family Day' Shows Kids Fun, Importance of Tech

'Engineering Family Day' Shows Kids Fun, Importance of Tech

National Engineers Week is covering all the bases when it comes to engaging people in scientific fields. In addition to events for professionals, students, and a special day for young women interested in STEM fields, there is even a day for families and teachers to make engineering fun for very young children.

Tomorrow is Discover Engineering Family Day (DEFD) at the National Building Museum in Washington, DC. The day will feature specialized events aimed at introducing kids ages 4 to 12 to engineering and technology, giving many of them their first introduction to technology and its relevance.

In the past three years nearly 10,000 attendees including children, teachers, parents, scouts, youth groups, and professional engineers and technologists attended the event.

On hand at the museum tomorrow will be nearly 30 exhibitors that will give children hands-on opportunities to challenge their minds and use basic science and engineering principles. There will also be a number of special demonstrations throughout the day. More about the event -- which includes major sponsors DiscoverE and the IEEE -- can be found on its website.

Last year, for instance, featured Nate Ball -- an entrepreneur and television personality -- who was carried 122 feet above the ground to the top of the museum's building thanks to a reverse repelling machine his company Atlas Power Ascender invented.

MORE FROM DESIGN NEWS: DiscoverE Encourages Girls to Find their Inner Engineer

Other past events showed a model of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover and a replica of one of Jeff Gordon's racecars, as well as featured appearances by stars of the PBS Kids TV show Zoom and former Space Shuttle Columbia astronaut Dr. Roger Crouch.

Check out a video showing some of the past events of DEFD to see what's in store for kids tomorrow:

Elizabeth Montalbano is a freelance writer who has written about technology and culture for more than 15 years. She has lived and worked as a professional journalist in Phoenix, San Francisco, and NYC. In her free time she enjoys surfing, traveling, music, yoga, and cooking. She currently resides in a village on the southwest coast of Portugal.

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