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As a kid growing up in Nashville TN I still vividly remember attending an engineering/science fair at Vanderbilt University. During the tour of a lab at the school of civil engineering I recall a demonstration where plastic cross sections were loaded. The lines of variation in stress could be visible seen through polarized lenses. I became hooked at that point. So I would say yes physical demonstrations are the key to sparking the interest of a young person in engineering. Heck even as an adult I recall being fascinated by the small models that Dr. Yura uses at his AISC seminars to demonstrate bracing behavior.


Matthew Stuart