Food For Thought: ICT Team Teaches Pavement with Tasty Exhibit at the 2018 Engineering Open House

What does breakfast cereal have to do with transportation engineering? At the 2018 Engineering Open House (EOH) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), a lot.  

The Illinois Center for Transportation (ICT) team participating in this year’s EOH portioned out “edible pavements” as part of a fun and tasty activity for kids.

PhD Candidate Issam Qamhia explains the construction of pavement structures with “edible pavements.”

EOH is the university’s largest student-run event, attracting more than 20,000 visitors each year. It features exhibits and competitions to showcase the talent and creativity of engineering students at UIUC.

More than 2,000 people lingered at the ICT student researcher exhibits, including roughly 1,300 local elementary, middle, and high school students who learned about the construction of pavement structures while munching on some of their favorite snacks.

“Edible pavements” with graham crackers, Cheerios, and Cocoa Puffs with Hershey’s chocolate syrup.

The ICT team used a plastic, transparent cup to display different pavement structure layers, which included crushed graham crackers (to represent subgrade), Cheerios (to represent the base), and Cocoa Puffs with Hershey’s chocolate syrup (to represent the surface layer). A tiny roadway sign on a toothpick was then added to the top as a garnish.

The ICT team also showcased the latest research at ICT and presented a more technical exhibit, which focused on a basic understanding of asphalt pavements, pavement structure, and techniques and tests to improve the quality of asphalt concrete.

“The enthusiasm of the people attending was great and encouraging!” Civil and Environmental (CEE) M.S. student Punit Singhvi said.

More than 250 other interactive exhibits drew people in at the event, along with several design competitions, corporate exhibits of real-world engineering feats, entertainment, campus tours, and guest speakers.

What does breakfast cereal have to do with transportation engineering? At the 2018 Engineering Open House (EOH) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), a lot.

The Illinois Center for Transportation (ICT) team participating in this year’s EOH portioned out “edible pavements” as part of a fun and tasty activity for kids.

EOH is the university’s largest student-run event, attracting more than 20,000 visitors each year. It features exhibits and competitions to showcase the talent and creativity of engineering students at UIUC.

More than 2,000 people lingered at the ICT student researcher exhibits, including roughly 1,300 local elementary, middle, and high school students who learned about the construction of pavement structures while munching on some of their favorite snacks.

The ICT team used a plastic, transparent cup to display different pavement structure layers, which included crushed graham crackers (to represent subgrade), Cheerios (to represent the base), and Cocoa Puffs with Hershey’s chocolate syrup (to represent the surface layer). A tiny roadway sign on a toothpick was then added to the top as a garnish.

The ICT team also showcased the latest research at ICT and presented a more technical exhibit, which focused on a basic understanding of asphalt pavements, pavement structure, and techniques and tests to improve the quality of asphalt concrete.

“The enthusiasm of the people attending was great and encouraging!” Civil and Environmental (CEE) M.S. student Punit Singhvi said.

More than 250 other interactive exhibits drew people in at the event, along with several design competitions, corporate exhibits of real-world engineering feats, entertainment, campus tours, and guest speakers.