March 19, 2014

LASM debuting Engineering Day with ExxonMobil and LSU College of Engineering

BATON ROUGE – It may seem at first to be an odd fit– going to a museum to learn about and enjoy engineering principles. But the Louisiana Art & Science Museum (LASM) and the LSU College of Engineering recently discovered a common mission– fostering creativity.

Recognizing their shared goals, LASM collaborated with the LSU College of Engineering to create Engineering Day, a new fun-filled festival with multiple interactive demonstrations and hands-on activities where visitors learn about a variety of engineering specialties.

“Design thinking in children is a natural due to their curiosity and not being afraid to try new things. The interactive demonstrations at LASM on Engineering Day will help foster design thinking-learning while integrating the imagination with analytical thinking to creatively solve problems. Families can learn how artists, scientists, and engineers all use design thinking,” said Carol Gikas, LASM Executive Director.

Since 1962, the museum has been committed to presenting art, science and the connections between them to promote a better understanding of our world and ourselves. LASM has now identified a new strategic area of focus for helping audiences make and understand connections between art and science – through the exploration of engineering and design.

“Baton Rouge and LASM are fortunate to have as a resource the LSU College of Engineering and our engineering friends from local industry that are coming together to help provide this enlightening day at LASM,” added Gikas.

“LSU’s College of Engineering is a proactive academic partner in developing Louisiana’s next generation of engineers,” said Rick Koubek, dean, LSU College of Engineering. “By expanding the exposure of engineering principles and applications to Louisiana children for the promotion of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills the College is excited to engage in Engineering Day.”

The event will take place on Saturday, March 29 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Louisiana Art & Science Museum on River Road downtown. All Engineering Day activities are included with price of general admission to the museum ($7.25 adult, $6.25 child/senior; free for LASM members). Funds from Engineering Day will offset the expenses of the event, with remaining proceeds funding curriculum development of on-going programming for engineering and design education at LASM.

The presenting sponsor of the event is ExxonMobil. Participating exhibitors also include industry representatives, professional engineering societies and organizations, and Baton Rouge Community College. It is additionally supported by Albemarle, BASF Chemical and CB&I.

Special guest will be Keith Comeaux, chief of NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory Project,flight director for the Curiosity flight landing, and LSU College of Engineering alumnus. Comeaux is bringing a replica of the Mars Rover for interactive demonstrations throughout the day, and will make a lively auditorium presentation at 2 p.m.

A few other activities include:

  • Interactive demonstrations by the LSU College of Engineering (Electrical, Mechanical, and Petroleum Departments)
  • Robot demonstrations by Red Stick Robotics 
  • Drive the SEATIGER, an interactive, deepwater ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) simulator 
  • Experimental music composing and cultural computing by the LSU School of Music and Center for Computational Technology (CCT)
  • Solar car demonstration by ExxonMobil
  • Bridge building demos by the American Society of Civil Engineers and competition student chapter
  • Special LIVE art build-out by artist Jonathan Brilliant
  • Nano Day/Nano Science demonstrations

For more information about Engineering Day, visit


Mimi LaValle
LSU College of Engineering


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