“Wonders of Wattage” Introduces K-12 Students to Engineering and Science

Achievement date: 

Graduate students from the University of Arkansas impacted more than 3,000 K-12 students through informal activities sponsored by the Center for Power Optimization of Electro-Thermal Systems (POETS), an NSF-funded Engineering Research Center (ERC) based at the University of Illinois.


Ten graduate students from the Arkansas university, a POETS partner, helped expose younger students to engineering and science at the “Wonders of Wattage,” an annual event at the Scott Family Amazeum in Bentonville, Ark. 


POETS graduate students and staff help organize the annual activity as part of Engineering Week at the Amazeum, Northwest Arkansas’ hub for fun, creativity, and discovery through hands-on activities. At the Wonders of Wattage, the grad students guided youngsters through hands-on electrical demonstrations that included making an electric motor, sending an arc of electricity rising between two rods, and completing an electrical circuit that spurred a pair of plastic legs to start kicking.