National Day of Service

Jan 14, 2010

Kettering University will host a group of middle school students from Flint in honor of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday, Jan. 18.

Kettering University students will host middle school students from Flint on Monday, Jan. 18, in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. National Day of Service 2010.  The event is part of Kettering’s Campus Engagement Fellowship program, under the direction of Robert Marias, director of Greek Life and Community Service.

With an alarming dropout rate in Flint community schools, the Campus Engagement Fellowship program aims to inspire the youth in Flint to see higher education as a reality in their future, said Erika Baker, a Mechanical Engineering major from Riley, Mich.  Kettering is honored to provide this experience to middle school students, she said. 

Flint’s young students will be introduced to what college campus life is like by being involved in actual, on-campus lab experiments, group activities in the recreation center, lunch in the campus center, and painting the famous Kettering Bulldog. 

One of the day’s labs will be hosted by the Physics Department and will center on crash testing and fundamental physics concepts. Crash testing is an increasing concern as engineers work to make vehicles safer for people in and around them.  Nearly all such testing uses basic physics concepts of motion, force, energy, and momentum to collect data, analyze, and interpret the results from sensors and high-speed video. 

Sample activities include small versions of apparatus in Kettering's Crash Safety Center: carts on tracks, motion detectors, accelerometers, video cameras, and even mini crash test dummies.  The results of our experiments are expected to give students a sense of the work that safety researchers do and the physics behind it, Baker explained.

Another lab will be hosted by the Industrial Engineering Department.  Robots are used in many industries.  Examples are manufacturing cars, engines, packaging food, medicine, surgery and entertainment like thrill rides.  Students will experience using robots and learning more about them.

The Mechanical Engineering Department also will present an opportunity for students based on the cable TV show MythBusters on the Discovery Channel.  Using Kettering’s high speed cameras, capable of producing a shutter speed of one – one thousand of a second or one micro-second for a continuous time interval of up to eight (8) seconds, students will be able to see things such a mouse trap being set off or a marble bouncing at 1,000 frames per second. This will help them understand the physics and mechanics behind these everyday objects.

With the day focused on the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., students will be empowered to reach for their dreams, Baker added.  “It is our hope that the students will develop their own dreams with a renewed knowledge that they are capable of accomplishing anything that they put their minds to.”

Contact: Pat Mroczek