Engineering Component

Youth Exploring Science

Bill Stanard supervises the Engineering component and is the Manager of Technology for the Community Science Department.

The engineering component focuses on designing and building robots and interactive mechanically engineered exhibits. Teens use CAD (Computer-Aided Design) software, 3D printers, laser cutters, metal cutting routers to design and fabricate parts for metal robots to battle in one of the USA’s most exciting robotics competition, FIRST’s Tech Challenge. With the robotics competition forming the scaffolding of the design-and-build experience, each of the teens will experience the satisfaction of problem solving, hands-on engineering, and nail-biting competition.

Interesting Facts

  • Data from LinkedIn shows that there is a 40 percent job-growth rate in robotics engineering which includes understanding the task to be performed by the robot, building the robot itself, and writing the software to program the robot.
  • The word “engineer” comes from the Latin for “native talent” or “cleverness,” but the original engineers exclusively designed, built, and operated war engines (weapons and fortresses).
  • The first engineer known by name was an Egyptian named Imhotep, one of the chief officials of the Pharaoh Djoser. He designed the Pyramid of Djoser, a step pyramid at Saqqara in Egypt in 2630–2611 BC and was also the first to use stone columns to support a building.


Scientists investigate what already is; engineers create that which has never been.

— Albert Einstein


  • St. Louis Students Robotics Association
  • Office of Naval Research Science and Technology

More about the Component

As part of YES involvement in Community Science, the Teens also design and build table-top games, puzzles, and activities for use at science fairs and STEAM exhibitions. By keeping up with the latest in exhibition display techniques in consultation with the professionals in the Exhibit Production Department at the Science Center, the engineering component provides its Teens a hands-on makerspace in which science discovery tools can be designed and made fun and exciting.

As part of a two-year project suggested by the Missouri History Museum’s Mighty Mississippi Exhibit, the Teens will be building a large-scale working display model of a steamboat-era single cylinder, long beam, paddlewheel driving steam engine out of industrial strength HDPE plastic. Reading engineering drawings, creating 3D models in an industry standard CAD/CAM program, and working as a team to build and assemble a steam engine display that will demonstrate the simplicity and genius of American engineering.


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To learn more about the YES Program, contact our Educational Outreach department at 314.289.1414.

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