Today, I took my daughters to the Integrated Teaching & Learning Laboratory's Design Expo at the University of Colorado. I was impressed. CU's engineering students showed off their stuff, from the trivial to the profound. For example, one student showed us his wave energy simulation, which used the rise and fall of (simulated) ocean waves to generate electricity. He said several larger versions could generate enough electricity to power Portland, Oregon! Maybe there is hope for the future, with students like this coming up with new alternatives to fossil fuels.
My girls, however, preferred the automatic sno-cone maker and the s'more machine--especially the free samples. Hey--as long as it gets them interested in science and engineering, I'm all for it!