ReNUWIt Water Design Challenge is Back at the Ingenuity Lab

February 18, 2014
Guests at the Ingenuity Lab's ReNUWIt Water Design Challenge test the sustainability of their model cities with a simulated storm.

As much-needed rain fell outside the other weekend, children, parents, and volunteers made it rain inside as part of the Ingenuity Lab’s ReNUWIt Water Design Challenge at the Lawrence Hall of Science. Visitors created model cities, learned about permeable versus impermeable surfaces, and iterated their designs to provide water for fish, prevent flooding, and promote infiltration of water into the ground.

With cafeteria trays, wooden blocks, sponges, electrical tape, and felt strips as materials, visitors used creativity and imagination to build – and rebuild – their cities. They lined up at the testing stations to see how their city performed during simulated storms, then ran back to their tables to add more parks, adjust a road, or move their houses around. Once happy with their design, they moved on to the second testing station, where they could see where pollution might end up in their city.

Throughout the activity, expert volunteers from ReNUWIt asked the young designers to explain their city features and predict how stormwater (and pollutants) would move through them, and were also on hand to answer questions and give advice. A cadre of Ingenuity Lab volunteers helped facilitate the Challenge.

As Lead Ingenuity Lab Facilitator Cassandra blogged, “Can you keep the bay from being flooded? How can you filter contaminants out of your storm water? Visit us in the Ingenuity Lab and learn more today!” Indeed, you have a few more chances to try the Challenge for yourself – the ReNUWIt Water Design Challenge will be featured every weekend day in February from noon to 4:00 p.m. as part of an ongoing program at the Lawrence Hall of Science offering a new engineering design challenge each month.

The ReNUWIt Water Design Challenge was developed by a collaborative team from the Ingenuity Lab and ReNUWIt. It debuted in February 2013. Visit the ReNUWIt Facebook page to see additional photos, or visit their blog to learn more about water in the city.

Try your hand at engineering and take a new challenge each month at the Ingenuity Lab, open weekends and holidays at the Lawrence Hall of Science. View the Ingenuity Lab now.

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