Fun O’Rama Throwdown Hopes to Spark Interest in Younger Generation

The Engineering and Art departments at Whatcom Community College partnered May 19 to bring a hands-on, all-ages event to Cascade Hall in the hopes of getting kids excited about engineering.

Visitors walk through Cascade Hall observing and participating in engineering demonstrations during the Cascade Hall Fun O’Rama Throwdown May 19. The event was open to the campus community and the public.
Photo Credit: David Loudon

“Cascade Hall Fun O’ Rama Throwdown” welcomed the campus alongside the public to explore all that the recently-renovated engineering space has to offer. Visitors had the opportunity to participate in a variety of events, including candle making, 3D printing and contour drawing.

Blake Sneve, a student and the/an organizer of the event, said that an emphasis of the Throwdown was to open it up a bigger audience, and spoke to his and the Engineering Department’s hope for these types of events:

“We’re really trying to get kids interested in engineering, I didn’t even really get interested in engineering until I was like, 25. And I really wish I found [this type of event] when I was younger because I feel like I would have had much more opportunity to get more done and get something in more of my interests a lot faster.” Sneve said. “It’s really great to be able to make something for the next generation.”

Albdullah X, a Whatcom student and peer mentor, watches as cotton candy is spun outside Cascade Hall during the Cascade Hall Fun O’Rama Throwdown.
Photo Credit: David Loudon

This marks the first time the newly-remodeled engineering spaces in Cascade Hall have been open to the public since the COVID-19 Pandemic. “We haven’t really gotten to show them off,” said Jessica Larson, an engineering advisor of 9 years at Whatcom. “We wanted something lowkey but fun where we could all come together and celebrate, you know, spring and the end of the year.”

Organizers serve cotton candy at the Cascade Hall Fun O' Rama Throwdown
Photo Credit: David Loudon

The Throwdown kept a consistent turnout over the course of its two-hour length and many of the visitors were adults with their own children.

“I want them to see the science, and we’re just about to head over and go see the art. Just to get exposed to what’s going on at the college.” said Tommaso Vannelli, who teaches chemistry at Whatcom, when asked what he wanted his children and grandson to get out of the Throwdown.

Though this will likely be the lone Throwdown before the end of the year, Engineering Program Coordinator Eric Davishahl says he’d like to see these types of events come back in the fall. Whatcom students interested in Engineering should contact Engineering Advising & Outreach Specialist Jessica Larson at jlarson@whatcom.edu.

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