On February 23, 2018 my parents and I went to Austin in Texas for Girl Day at the University of Texas in Austin. Girl day is for women who achieved something in science and technology such as Marie Curie who found radioactivity. It took us 2 hours by car to go to Austin since we live in Houston.
First I went to a virtual reality that shows an unexplored cave.
What the colleagues did is giving a VR helmet to us and it shows a random cave in Austin in a 360-degree angle. This was a very interesting experience because it looked really cool when you were in a cave but you are actually not.
Then, we went to a place where I can experiment with electrical engineering, environmental engineering, chemical engineering, and civil engineering. During electrical engineering 2 colleagues, used a computer and showed me how to make a plush cow move with red LED lights. They used codes and formulas to make that happen and with a push of a button the big old cow with angry red, devil eyes started moving! I then moved to another station for environmental usage. They gave a tweezer filled with water and had sand in one cup and a mysterious item in the other cup. I had to put water in both of them to see what it would do. The sand absorbed the water while the mystery cup didn’t at all it was very dry.The next one I did was chemical engineering. The students gave me a cup of diaper polymer and a tube squeezer filled with water and asked me to put the water in the polymer. After I did that the polymer expanded and it felt like fluffy snow. Although I have done this at home it was still an interesting experience. Onto the next activity the college students who study civil engineering told me to do an experiment. With these household items: marshmallows, toothpicks, and dirt to prevent the stickiness of the marshmallows I would have to build a bridge to withstand an earthquake. So on the first round, I used some sticks and marshmallows and made some sort of blob. On the 2nd go it only withstood for 5 seconds instead of 10. Finally, on the 3rd round, I made a ladder underneath 2 trapezoids and to connect them all I made a rectangle. At the last moment, I made my structure stand for at least 10 seconds. Later the colleagues showed me their replica of a bridge. They said that if you make triangles for your bridges in the future it is for sure it will withstand an earthquake. As I looked through the brochure; that they gave us at the beginning I saw there was a fun experimental show that will come up in 15 minutes. I tug on parents shirt and ask if we can go and see this show. They said yes so I started trotting along the hallway and down the escalator.
Next, we found a spot for the 3 of us so we can all enjoy the show.
The scientist started with a very magical experiment. So she had some liquid nitrogen and dry ice and of course a balloon. She mixed up the dry ice and nitrogen with a volunteer. She told her helper to put the balloon in the mixture and when she did the balloon decreased its size. Once the girl took it out the balloon regained its original size. There are some I don’t remember but that’s okay because there is that will blow your mind literally. KABOOM! To begin with that she had a flamethrower in her hand! everything went fine; except that. Each balloon was filled with some sort of element in the periodic table of elements. She started off with copper. It exploded but not enough for the balloon to go bye-bye. The next one she did was with magnesium and the fire sparkled and the explosion was louder. Lastly, she used liquid nitrogen in a bucket and in another bucket was hot water. To make this explosion occur she dumped all of the hot water in the other bucket, and the solution made the liquid nitrogen turn to a huge fog like you were in the clouds. As always, we applauded for that terrific experience today. However, this isn’t the end of the day, my parents and I still had to eat so we headed to a nearby cafe. I ate macaroni and cheese along with fries, my mom ate a bowl of veggies and shared my fries, and my dad ate cheese pizza. After we ate we saw other fun activities such as the strawberry DNA experiment so we headed over there.
Soon, I arrived at the spot and the utensils they gave me was a cotton swab, isopropyl alcohol, dish soap, a plastic baggy, and strawberries. They told us to put the strawberries into the baggy and mush it all up. And to add the dish soap along with the rest of the ingredient. After I did that they held a coffee filter into a cup and told me to drain all of the strawberries into the cup and to let it stay still for a while. Seconds later, they gave me a cotton swab and told me to slowly swirl the strawberries around until you see some gelatin substance. Ta-da! I took out my strawberries DNA. When I touched it, it felt just like slime. I said thank you and walked out of the place.
Finally, I went where I wanted to go first but couldn’t, the virtual reality through games. I really wanted to do this because I love to play video games along with VR. I got their helmet on my head and I started to play the game. I first had to put the PS4 controller into collaboration so the controller would work throughout the game. After that, I started to play. Basically, you just have to go through one level to beat the game , to kill the other enemies, and obstacles. At the last part it cool because on the controller you pull down and it will slingshot the hero away. Confetti popped and the “citizens” were overjoyed that “I” saved the day. I took the helmet off and one of the professors complimented that I was the fastest person to complete this game. I said thank you and I took off to go home.
I’m glad to share this and I hope you will all come to this event one day and enjoy this experience just as I did. Hopefully, this will be running until I die ‘cause I want to do this each year of my lifetime.
million dollar high tech microscope