2017 Exhibits

2017 exhibit Details will be posted as they become available. Check back often for updates.

Please note that locations are subject to change.

Balsa Model Bridge Competition

Time: All Day
Location: Ottensman Hall, Room 049 West

Students across the tri-state region have built model bridges. Watch as we test them to the breaking point.

The Big Bang

Time: All Day; Demonstrations begin on the half hour
Location: Engineering Hall, Room 229

An Expo favorite! Sparks will fly, and so will cans, pennies, aluminum foil, and steel wool as electrons course through metal objects.

Bowling with Concrete

Time: All Day
Location: Ottensman Hall, Room 124

Concrete is generally thought to be very heavy, but this specially designed concrete ball is lighter than most regular bowling balls! Stop by to meet The UW-Platteville Concrete Bowling Team and learn about lightweight concrete. Show off your bowling skills and attempt to win prizes for guessing the weight of the ball or knocking down pins.

BristleBot Workshop

Time: 9:30 am, 10:00 am, 10:30 am, 11:00 am, 11:30 am
Location: Ottensman Hall, Room 039

Come build your own robot! We'll use toothbrush heads, a motor, and batteries and you'll walk away with your very own bristle bot! Space is limited to the first 20 students per workshop.

Cartesian Divers

Time: All Day
Location: Ottensman Hall, Room 042

A Cartesian diver is an object whose density changes with pressure. Each participant will construct their own Cartesian diver using a bottle, pipette, nut, and paperclips. The participants will have to find neutral buoyancy to begin by adjusting the weight of the paperclips and size of the air pocket in the pipette. After neutral buoyancy is found, the participant will then apply pressure to find out what happens and what causes these results to occur.

Circuits 101

Time: All Day
Location: Ottensman Hall, Room 101

Experience electrical engineering by using wires, light bulbs, and a power source. Attempt two different puzzles to get an idea of what electrical engineering is like.

Chemistry Dazzling Demonstrations

Time: 10:00, 11:00, 1:00
Location: Ottensman Hall, Room 144

Explore changing colors, fireballs, and a variety of other chemical phenomena that demonstrate basic chemistry topics.

Concrete Canoe

Time: All Day
Location: Engineering Hall, First Floor Lobby

Concrete floats?! Come and see the work of the UW-Platteville Concrete Canoe Team and learn about the materials used to create the special concrete used in the canoe.

Design a Highway Interchange

Time: All Day
Location: Ottensman Hall, Room 106

Can you design a highway interchange that allows drivers to approach from any highway and leave by any highway without crossing any lanes of traffic?

Erosion and Water Treatment

Time: All Day
Location: Ottensman Hall, Room 109

Platteville environmental engineering students will feature an interactive erosion table illustrating erosion factors and effects.  Learn about how water velocity and land topography affect flow path and society.  Also, put water through a GAC filtration system and a sand filter and see how they clean the water differently.

Explore Viscosity

Time: All Day
Location: Ottensman Hall, Room 044

Get your hands dirty learning about the different physical properties of materials! Make your own goo and learn how engineers determine what materials to use in their designs.

Fire Department Apparatus

Time: All Day
Location: Outside Ottensman - Parking Lot 11

Come and see the 2017 Pierce Enforcer Pumper and other fire department vehicles. Learn about how they are custom designed and built, and how advancements in technology have improved pumping capacity and onboard electronics.


Time: All Day
Location: Engineering Hall, Room 137

FIRST Robotics is a world wide organization for high school students to learn about STEM fields through building a robot. Team 171, the Cheese Curd Herd, is the oldest team in Wisconsin - 2017 is their 23rd year. This year’s competition is FIRST STEAMworks, where the robot is making preparations to fly! Come and learn what this program is about and see our 2017 robot in action.

Flames and Vibrations: Ruben's Tube and Resonance Plate

Time: All Day
Location: Ottensman Hall, Room 004

This is a two-part exhibit featuring vibrations. The first part is a Ruben's Tube, a tube of propane gas that acts as a long line of Bunsen burners. Sound is then pumped into one end and the amplitudes of the flames change based on the frequency of the sound. The second part is a resonance plate - a simple mechanical wave generator and a plate covered in salt. As the plate vibrates, the salt gathers in the valleys created by the oscillating plate creating unique geometric shapes.

FPGA Video Games

Time: All Day
Location: Engineering Hall, Room 116

Three different video games were developed using VHSIC hardware description language (VHDL) and programmed onto field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs). These video games use only hardware (no microprocessor) to implement the games and interface with a VGA monitor. Participants can come learn about FPGAs and try to earn the top score.

Fun with Foundation

Time: All Day
Location: Ottensman Hall, Room 049 East

Help UW-Platteville's chapter of Engineers Without Borders pour a scale model of a concrete floor slab that they will be pouring in Ghana, Africa. Participants will learn how concrete is made and participate in this hands-on demonstration. From mixing the concrete to setting the rebar and troweling the finished product, participants will learn it all!

Gyroscopic Physics

Time: All Day
Location: Engineering Hall, Room 233

Come and learn about angular momentum via three different stations. One station involves using a bicycle wheel and a rotating chair to create momentum without touching the ground. In another station, use milk jugs to increase momentum while spinning on a chair. Finally, watch a demonstration using a wheel hanging from the ceiling.

High-Tech Trucks

Time: All Day
Location: Outside Ottensman - Parking Lot 11

The State of South Dakota Multi-Purpose Plow Unit is just one example of how high-end technology and electronics are used in today’s world to fight the treacherous snow storms found in the snow belt of America and other countries.  Monroe Truck Equipment, Inc. is the leader in snow and ice control product manufacturing and installation.  With that leadership, we are tasked with the development of unique and efficient ways to make the highways safer to travel. Trucks are now armed with cameras, equipment feedback sensors, temperature sensors, GPS intelligence, automatic speed controlled application, and a cockpit that rivals that of a chopper. This particular truck is up-fitted with flexible plow, all-season RDS body, electronic controls, cameras, sensors, spinners, cross conveyor, and liquid de-icer.

Injection Molding

Time: All Day
Location: Engineering Hall, Room 233

Ever wondered how plastic army men are made? What about Lego pieces or other small plastic toys? Stop by and find out, with live demonstrations and different household items made by injection molding on display. Learn about the history of Injection molding and how it has shaped the objects we use every day. And if learning about injection molding isn't exciting enough, take home your very own injection molded souvenir.

Interactive Engineering

Time: All Day
Location: Ottensman Hall, Room 001

Check out several interactive exhibits demonstrating engineering principles in the fields of aerodynamics, thermal imaging, additive manufacturing, thermodynamics, HVAC, and more. Build your own design out of play-dough and test its aerodynamics in a wind tunnel. See a 3-D printer in action. Learn the basics of how a refrigerator works. Brought to you by the UW-Platteville chapter of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

Iron Workers Relay Race

Time: Sessions begin at the top of each hour
Location: Ottensman Hall, Room 105

Participants will learn about construction safety in a fun, competitive way in this obstacle course-style relay race.  Learn about the necessary safety equipment used in high rise construction projects, then gear up one by one in a timed race to complete a project. A fun, hands-on way to learn about safety!


Time: Demonstrations begin at the top of each hour
Location: Engineering Hall, Room 230

The Society of Physics Students presents Kid-ematics!  Live action Angry Birds and stomp rockets demonstrate the principle of kinematics.  Additionally, visit presentations from our sub-groups: Pioneer Rocketry, UWP Multirotor, and 3D-Printing Club.

Little Leader Lava Lamps

Time: All Day
Location: Ottensman Hall, Room 112

Come hang out with the students of the National Society of Leadership and Success and build a basic DIY lava lamp from recycled water bottles! The process will help explain different scientific properties (like density, viscosity, polarity, and surface tension) while encouraging environmentalism through recycling. Throw in some Alka-Seltzer tablets to keep the fun going at home!

Marshmallow Catapult

Time: All Day
Location: Ottensman Hall, Room 126

Particpants will build catapults using marshmallows, rubber bands, spoons, and bamboo skewers. The goal is to design a sturdy catapult that will be able to endure the various tasks ahead. This fun project challenges participants to be creative and think outside the box.

Nano Room

Time: All Day
Location: Engineering Hall, Room 243

Come explore the nanoscale world. We'll be demonstrating an atomic force microscope and scanning electron microscope. From CDs to insects to micromachines, you'll never see the world the same way again.

On the Rails

Time: All Day
Location: Engineering Hall, Room 207

This project balances a ball at a desired location on a pair of rails no matter the starting point of the ball. An electric motor is attached to one end of the rails, which moves the rails up and down to move the ball. The electric motor is controlled by a computer program that knows the ball's current location. The program tells the motor to rotate clockwise or counter clockwise, which moves the rails up or down, depending on which way it wants to move the ball. This controller method demonstrates real-world controller challenges such as aircraft roll control. There is also a fun activity to learn about controls.

Paper Airplanes

Time: All Day
Location: Engineering Hall, Room 107

Participants will build different types of paper airplanes to see which design flies the farthest and fastest. After the first test, re-engineer your design to create better versions of the paper airplanes and test fly them for a second time.

Parachute Egg Drop

Time: 11:00 am, 12:00 pm, 1:00 pm
Location: Ottensman Hall, Downstairs Atrium - West

Make parachutes out of paper, string, tape and straws with the goal of making eggs land safely from a height of 15 feet. Compete with your peers to see who can land their egg without it cracking!

Penny Boat Races

Time: All Day
Location: Ottensman Hall, Room 033

Create a boat and race it down the flume! The boat that can haul a large load in the fastest time makes it up on the board as the standing champion - see if you can beat it!

Pioneer 600 Car Races

Time: All Day
Location: Ottensman Hall, Room 140

Come and watch high school contestants race their battery-powered cars. If you or your class would like to participate in the competition, you can view more details on the K-12 Contests and Competitions page.

Platteville Police Department Squad Car

Time: All Day
Location: Outside Ottensman - Parking Lot 11

A fully marked Police SUV with all of its emergency equipment, AED, squad and portable radios, in-squad video, body-worn video, in-squad computer, Mach software (GPS location of on-duty squads), laser/radar speed detection units and including other equipment and tools utilized police officers.  A police officer will also be on site to answer questions and explain the equipment and how it’s used.

Platteville Street Department

Time: All Day
Location: Outside Ottensman - Parking Lot 11

Come and check out the tractor backhoe and dump truck displays.

Science As Art

Time: All Day
Location: Engineering Hall, Room 243

The Science as Art Contest celebrates the creativity of the students at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville with art from primary images capturing scientific phenomena or generated using scientific tools. Come and vote for your favorite piece!

Shaky Ground

Time: 10:00 am, 11:00 am, 12:00 pm
Location: Ottensman Hall, Room 066

See liquefaction in action and learn that for buildings to withstand an earthquake, they need a stronger foundation or other techniques to stabilize them. Using sand and water as the foundation, participants will learn how to keep their building upright using other materials.

Slime Room

Time: All Day
Location: Ottensman Hall, Room 122

Come learn about polymer chemistry while making your own slime! Pay $0.50 to make different colored slime. Learn how and why the slime forms the way it does, and then take home your colorful concoction!

Smart Design Challenge

Time: 10:00 am - noon
Location: Ottensman Hall, Room 023

New for 2017! Come and see the smart devices designed by fellow Expo attendees! Want to make your own device? Check out the Contests and Competitions page for more info!

Society of Automotive Engineers Vehicles

Time: All Day
Location: Ottensman Hall, Downstairs Atrium - East

Come and check out the Baja Car, Formula Car, Clean Snowmobile, and Aero RC Airplane that the Society of Automotive Engineers members have built for competitions.

Sophie Germain: Dynamic Waves of Vibrating Plates

Time: 11:00 am, 11:30 am, 12:00 pm, 12:30 pm
Location: Ottensman Hall, Room 103

Explore the life of a historic woman in a STEM field and her work on the mathematics behind the wave dynamics of a vibrating plates. Use a vibrating plate to create fantastic designs with different grains to observe how a metal plate moves under vibration.

Star Wars: Code a Galaxy

Time: All Day
Location: Ottensman Hall, Room 123

Use object-oriented programming to build your own galaxy.

Steel Bridge

Time: All Day
Location: Engineering Hall, Room 115

Come and see the UW-Platteville steel bridge team display their 20 ft. scale model of a bridge used to simulate a real life situation. Members will be there to explain our design and fabrication processes and what it takes to construct a successful bridge. Take as much or as little time as you want to learn about the many practical benefits that this project offers to students.

Tesla Vehicles

Time: All Day
Location: Engineering Hall, Room 128

Learn more about electric vehicles.

Traffic Trouble

Time: All Day
Location: Ottensman Hall, Room 037

Using traffic signals, participants will try to get all the "cars" (volunteers) through the intersection as quick as possible by changing the green approach. Simultaneously, students can try to go as fast as they can without "speeding" (pre-determined "speed limits" will be in effect) by utilizing the speed guns in the transportation lab, operated by the participants under the supervision of volunteers.

Unity 3D - Multiplayer Game Development

Time: All Day
Location: TBD

Come and see demonstrations of game development projects that the game development club has worked on over the past 2 years.

Water Filtration

Time: All Day
Location: Ottensman Hall, Room 045

Ever wondered how our water gets so crystal clear? Experiment with building your own water filter using everyday materials! Gain a better understanding of how much work and planning goes into making our water clean and safe.

Windy City Tower

Time: Sessions begin on the half-hour starting at 10:30 am
Location: Ottensman Hall, Room 116

Participants learn about lateral forces and strong building design as they plan out and make a paper tower that meets design constraints and withstands as much wind as possible without sliding or toppling over.

Zip Line Challenge

Time: All Day
Location: Engineering Hall, Room 230

Come and watch contestants test their self-powered systems across a zip line. The team whose system crosses the 15-meter zip line in the shortest amount of time wins! Systems must be designed and built before the day of Expo. If you or your class would like to participate in the competition, you can view more details on the K-12 Contests and Competitions page.

Print Your Own Program Booklet

The 2017 program booklet will be available on April 3, 2017. In the meantime, feel free to view the 2016 booklet as an example.

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