The Engineering, Mathematics and Science (EMS) Expo at UW-Platteville is an open house event where current college students and faculty share their projects and open their lab spaces and classrooms to the public for demonstrations, exhibits, workshops, and contests.

Youth Participants

The EMS Expo is open to students in fifth through twelfth grade. Participants will experience engineering, mathematics, and science up close through more than 50 hands-on activities, all designed to provide a glimpse into the exciting world of STEM!

Each participant under the age of 18 must bring a signed consent form.

If you have a disability and would like to request accommodations, please contact us at or 608.342.1314.

Get an idea of the types of exhibits you can expect!

View last years events.

Here is some information to help you prepare for your visit to UW-Platteville for the EMS Expo.

Directions and Maps

The UW-Platteville campus is located at the western edge of Platteville, WI. All EMS Expo activities take place on campus in Ottensman Hall, Engineering Hall, and the outdoor spaces adjacent to these two buildings.

Parking on Campus

Because the EMS Expo occurs during a normal class day at UW-Platteville, it is important to be familiar with campus parking regulations and approved lots before arriving.

Parking permits are not required for any on-campus parking lots on the day of EMS Expo, however, please note that regulations regarding parking on the grass, in fire lanes, metered spaces, pedestrian crosswalks, handicapped spaces, etc., will still be enforced.

Vehicles are free to park in any commuter lot, marked in purple on the campus parking map. Buses can unload at either Engineering Hall or Ottensman Hall and park in one of several locations:

  • Piggly Wiggly lot (255 McGregor Plaza)
  • Super 8 hotel lot (100 Hwy 80/81 S.)
  • Ashley Furniture (1525 Business Hwy 151)
  • Blain's Farm & Fleet, north end of lot (1535 Business Hwy 151)
  • Millennium Cinema (151 Millennium Drive)

Food Sales and Picnic Locations

Many families and class groups choose to bring brown bag lunches and arrange a meeting time and location for lunchtime. A recommended picnic location is the lawn between the Markee Pioneer Student Center and Ottensman Hall. In case of inclement weather, there will be marked spaces in both buildings for groups to eat.

There will also be food available for purchase at the EMS Expo. All food sales at the Expo benefit UW-Platteville College of EMS student organizations. Food and beverages available for purchase include brats, hot dogs, macaroni and cheese, walking tacos, chips, baked goods, soda, and bottled water.

In addition, all on-campus dining locations accept cash and credit cards, and will be open regular hours during the Expo.

Overnight Accommodations

For information regarding hotels in the Platteville area, visit the Platteville Area Chamber of Commerce lodging page.

Each year, students and staff from many UW-Platteville departments, programs, and student organizations throughout the College of EMS participate in making the Expo a success. The Expo Committee would like to thank the following departments, programs, and organizations for their contributions:

Lead Sponsor

College of EMS Departments and Programs

UW-Platteville Student Organizations

Thank you for your interest in serving as a volunteer judge for the Engineering, Mathematics and Science Expo!

At the EMS Expo, current UW-Platteville students exhibit projects and activities for the community and area youth. As a judge, you would be assigned to visit three to four exhibits and rate them using a rubric scale. Each eligible exhibit is scored a minimum of two times, and scores are compiled to determine winners in five categories.

The judging process typically takes 90 minutes. You do not need to have advanced technical knowledge to serve as a judge. The exhibits are designed for middle and high school aged students. Judges are also invited to visit the EMS Expo hospitality room in 170 Ottensman Hall to network with teachers, alumni, and faculty, and enjoy complimentary refreshments.

Sign up to be a judge

If you have any questions, please contact or 608.342.7342.

Registration and K-12 participants questions and disability requests:

Continuing Education Institute
University of Wisconsin-Platteville
1 University Plaza Platteville, WI 53818-3099

For all others, please contact:

University of Wisconsin-Platteville
170 Ottensman Hall
1 University Plaza Platteville, WI 53838-3099

Contests and Competitions

The EMS Expo has organized several contests and competitions for K-12 student participants to highlight the excitement and challenges of engineering, mathematics, and science.

In most cases, an entry form and fee are required to participate, and students must spend time prior to Expo day preparing for the contests. In some cases, they can choose to participate on-the-spot on Expo day.

See last year's contests and competitions:

Design a layout for a chocolate factory using Legos. Complete your design in advance, or on the day of Expo. Compete against other student teams. No entry fee. The most effective layout will win a prize.

Complete Rules

Contestants will design and construct a two-dimensional bridge structure capable of spanning 19 inches. Each bridge must be made of UW-Platteville supplied balsa wood ($7.00) and meet required specifications. Bridges will be tested to determine load-carrying capacity by adding weight to the point of breaking. The bridge that demonstrates the highest load-carrying capacity per unit weight is the winner.

Complete Rules
Bridge Specifications
Bridge Kit Order Form

The Pioneer 600 is a contest for high school students. Each contestant constructs and races a battery-powered car. Each car must utilize a UW-Platteville-supplied kit ($8.00) and meet required specifications. The car that travels 20 feet (600 cm) in the least amount of time is the winner! Prizes are awarded for first, second, and third place. In addition, awards are given for the most innovative design and best-looking car.

Complete Rules and Car Kit Order Form

Stop by the Engineering Physics Scope-Out Challenge and use your ingenuity to build a two-lens telescope from a box of components. Correctly identify a distant object with your telescope to win prizes for yourself and your school! You do not need to sign up in advance; just stop by Engineering Hall Room 243 on Expo day.

2019 Guidelines

Scavenger Hunt

The scavenger hunt is a fun activity that is part of the EMS Expo. It helps students stay focused and make the most of the Expo experience.

The scavenger hunt consists of a list of questions that can be answered by visiting different activities, exhibits, presentations, and demonstrations at the Expo. Teachers are encouraged to edit the scavenger hunt questions to cover a desired breadth or depth of topics. If current UW-Platteville students would like to be involved please submit a project or exhibit.

Thanks to Our Sponsor

Alliant Energy

UW-Platteville Student Involvement

The EMS Expo would not be possible without the involvement of current UW-Platteville students. There are several ways you can get involved, either individually, with friends, or with your student organization:

Submit a project or exhibit to be eligible to win $250 in cash prizes. Deadline to submit entries is March 16th, 2020.

Enter the Science as Art contest. Art is valued for its capacity to communicate. Art is a way to express or visualize complex scientific phenomena into a comprehensible interpretation for everyone. The goal of the Science as Art Exhibit is to spark public interest in science through artistic expression. The Science as Art Exhibit is organized as a contest for current UW-Platteville students and celebrates their creativity by showcasing art primarily through images capturing scientific phenomena or generated using scientific tools. Submissions from UW-Platteville students are collected and judged. All submissions will be showcased during the Expo event.

Fundraise for your student organization by selling food at the event. Eight spaces are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Please note that all of these opportunities require pre-registration and approval.

Volunteering is a great opportunity for UW-Platteville students who wish to be involved in the EMS Expo but are not part of a specific project or exhibit. If you would like to volunteer, please complete the sign-up form by March 16th, 2020.