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Inspiring Creative Thinking in Engineering

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Terrence Horan, ECS West Palm Beach Branch Manager, volunteers annually for the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium’s “Drop It, Build It, Float It, Launch It, Thrill It” Engineering Competition where more than 350 students from elementary to high school participate in five different design contests. Terry says he loves seeing the kids get active in engineering, including his own children. He has volunteered as a team leader, taking students to each competition, allowing him to be exposed to every event.

One memory that sticks out is when his daughter used peanut butter in the Drop It competition and it resulted in peanut butter everywhere – so he thinks of the competition every time he eats it. Terry’s favorite competition is Float It. For the other competitions, students prepare things ahead of time, but with Float It, the kids are given a kit with materials and have 45 minutes to construct a boat. They are then evaluated immediately on if it floats and how fast it travels the course.