This past Saturday, the Society of Women Engineers at the University of Illinois hosted their second annual Dads and Daughters Do Science (DADDS) Day. A perfect indoor alternative to the downright rainy weather outside, about 30 father-daughter pairs had a chance to bond and learn together over activities designed to stretch the mind. Intended for 1st through 3rd grade girls, the event made for a very fun introduction to some very basic scientific concepts such as sound waves and surface tension.

“We thought this would be a good way to get daughters involved with problem solving skills at a young age when their dads can help,” said Megan Fritz, one of the organizers of the event. And, as the girls moved from table to table and excitedly asked their dads to try the activities too, it became clear that this was a really good opportunity to make a strong early impression- both about science and family.

After lunch the girls were given a chance for some special fun, having the opportunity to drive a robot and watch some bag-exploding chemistry in action. The day wrapped up with a brain-stretchingly fun design challenge: build a Rube Goldberg machine to get a ping-pong ball into a cup. From cardboard ramps to spoon catapults, it was quite interesting to see how everyone came up with different ideas and put them to the test- exactly what the day was meant for.

For more photos of the day, look below!

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Stephen is an IT manager for the University of Illinois and has been a photographer for Smile Politely since 2015. Find his photography on Facebook or contact him directly via email.