Ten kids went to an amazing technology lab called Harbison Walker where we met with Mr. Glenn McIntyre. We learned more about ceramics and how they are made. The ceramics of Harbison Walker are refractory products, bricks that are first cooked in kilns which are very very hot and then used to line very hot furnaces, molten steel ladles, and engine parts that withstand extremely high heats.
I say this is the best field trip anyone can ever go on. We saw and held a bunch of new ceramic material being tested. We even got to take home ceramics that weren’t being used at the time.
Our Future City competition team got some pretty good tips for next year. Future City is a competition for six through eighth graders. They have to research, simulate, and build a model of a city 100 years in the future.
Cherish Erb-White, one of the Future City competitors and co-author of the new Engineering Wings to the Sun book said, “The field trip was really fun.”
The future leader of the Future City Durrielle Bracley brought back some ceramics to include in next year’s model. This year’s leaders, RJ Sebek and Sam Simpson were amazed by the variety of textures in the bricks and really liked the furnaces. Leah Saracco and Kennedy Johnson, more co-authors of the Wings book (which benefits the American Ceramics Society) were surprised by the different weights and densities of the ceramics they saw. Future City competitors Samantha Jones and Brody Haswell agreed that the trip was awesome, hoping the lessons learned from the competition would continue to grow even more fascinating.
Thank you so much, everyone, who helped! We really enjoyed this trip.