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Engineering a Teen Marvel

March 04, 1999|SUSAN CARPENTER

How does a roller coaster stay on its track? Where is the muscle in a muscle car? How is Coca-Cola carbonated?

These and other burning questions about how the world works are resolved on the Discover Engineering Web site (http://www.discoverengineering.org), launched last week by Eastman Chemical Co. to attract teenagers to the field.

In the hopes of creating a page that would not only engage but keep the interest of teens with notoriously short attention spans, the site uses lots of color and graphics, and is easy to navigate. It even has links to games and more cerebral brain teasers: how to make a batch of plastic at home and how to fold the most aeronautically sound paper airplane.

According to Earnest W. Deavenport, chairman and chief executive of Eastman, "There is a growing need to improve the technological literacy of students, beginning as early as middle school."

The results of a recent Harris Poll, commissioned by the American Assn. of Engineering Societies, indicated that Americans are uninformed about the role of engineering in their daily lives.

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