Engineering Summer Fun

Summer pushes the mercury higher, makes the days longer and because we’re NEF, gives us plenty of reminders about why engineering is awesome. Every four years, the world tunes in to watch the best athletes in the world compete in the Olympic Games. So until the Games in Tokyo in 2020, athletes are training hard and from fluid dynamics to biomechanics, engineering principles are everywhere as the athlete get into top shape and look for every advantage. Check out this amazing video series exploring engineering’s impact on competitive sports. It was put together for the 2012 games, but it’s still relevant – and fascinating. Chances are you’ll be watching most athletic competitions from the comfort of your couch, with the AC keeping you cool. Engineer Willis Haviland Carrier designed the first modern air-conditioning system in 1902.

Head out to your own backyard to help kids to engineer a whole summer’s worth of fun with ideas from this site including how-tos for baking soda powered boats, a Nerf battle zone, and so much more. If you’re looking for something with a little more adrenaline, there are an abundance of scream-worthy roller coasters making their debuts at amusement parks across the country. Of course there’s also LEGOLAND which celebrates the construction toy that’s inspired generations of engineers. When you need to cool off in the nearest pool, take a moment to honor the man who invented the modern diving board in 1949. Ray Rude, an engineer who spent part of his career at Lockheed Aircraft Company, used an airplane wing for his first diving board. And of course you can’t have all that fun without a little sustenance. Summer is the perfect time to engineer the perfect burger, traditional or veggie, followed by some homemade ice cream, perhaps using the recipe from one of our nation’s Founding Fathers and engineer Thomas Jefferson.