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NIST Scientists and Engineers Answer Students’ Questions

For Engineers Week 2020, we called for teachers across the nation to gather questions from their curious students about engineering. We received questions that covered both engineering and science topics. So instead of limiting ourselves to just the original topic, we've decided to keep going! Check out responses below from scientists and engineers at NIST. And if your child has a question, riley.wilson [at] (ask it).

Kids ask NIST: What's the best way to build a tower out of spaghetti and marshmallows?

Kids ask. We answer. NIST structural engineer Judith Mitrani-Reiser explores the best way to build a tower out of spaghetti and marshmallows (with a special guest!).

Kids Ask NIST: If the atmosphere weighs 5.5 quadrillion tons, why doesn’t it crush me?

Kids ask. We answer. NIST physicists Julia Scherschligt and Emmanuel Newsome talk about how much pressure we all face every day and why it doesn't crush us.

Kids ask NIST: Could it be possible to power cities with quantum energy?

Kids ask, we answer. See what NIST physicist Alexey Gorshkov thinks about the question of quantum energy and its use in powering our cities.​​​​​​

Kids ask NIST: How fast does a ceiling fan have to go to create a tornado in a bedroom?

Kids ask; we answer. NIST’s Scott Weaver, Director of the National Windstorm Impact Reduction Program, explores the dynamics of a bedroom tornado. Also, see how you can make your own tornado in a bottle!

Kids ask NIST about a career in engineering (with Tania Ullah)

Kids ask; we answer. NIST engineer Tania Ullah talks about what it takes to become an engineer, and shares how engineers can help with pollution.

KiDs ask NIST about a career in engineering (with Dustin Poppendieck)

Kids ask; we answer. NIST’s Dustin Poppendieck shares the importance of history in his work, what sparked his interest in engineering as a career and what engineering technology is crucial to our homes and buildings.
Created February 21, 2020, Updated March 11, 2021