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OSU student volunteers from Tulsa's Helmerich Research Center show off the exciting world of STEM to some Tulsa-area students.

OSU-Tulsa volunteers captivate students with new research at Tulsa Engineering Challenge event

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Media Contact: Aaron Campbell | OSU-Tulsa Communications Coordinator | 918-594-8046 |

Oklahoma State University-Tulsa's Materials Science and Engineering and Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering departments helped showcase the wonders of science, technology, engineering and math for students from grades 4 to 12 recently at the 2024 Tulsa Engineering Challenge.

The event, themed "Welcome to the Future – Engineers Are Shaping the Future," is designed to promote Tulsa-area students’ interest in STEM disciplines.

Dr. Feng Lu, research scientist at the Helmerich Research Center and manager of its core labs, led OSU-Tulsa’s demonstrations alongside three OSU-Tulsa student volunteers — Materials Science & Engineering master’s student Ashley Pennyman, Materials Science & Engineering Ph.D. student Lakshmi Narayanan Ramasubramania and Mechanical Engineering bachelor’s student Pedro Antonio. Together, they presented groundbreaking materials research and mechanical engineering projects that are in development now at OSU-Tulsa.

OSU-Tulsa’s exhibits ranged from innovative shark bite-resistant garments to the synthesis of artificial diamonds using chemical vapor deposition. Practical applications of engineering were highlighted using shape memory alloys, color-changing coatings and ferromagnetic fluids. Viewers could also take a look at the fascinating “nanoworld,” thanks to Scanning Electron Microscope imagery.

Cyclone phase separators and advancements in microelectronics on silicon wafers were also on display, giving a peek into pivotal technology that is shaping the future.

Students also got a chance to dive into the marvels of super-cold liquid nitrogen, witnessing its ability to disperse air trapped in bubble wrap, fracture tennis balls, freeze car antifreeze and produce instant fog.

Participation in events like the Tulsa Engineering Challenge underscores OSU-Tulsa's commitment to inspiring the next generation of innovators and problem-solvers. OSU’s engineering programs in Tulsa, centered at the Helmerich Research Center, actively seek opportunities for collaboration in public STEM events.

Educators interested in exploring STEM outreach opportunities can visit the Helmerich Research Center website or reach out to Lu at

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