North American Model Engineering Expo

| January/February 2001

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The 11th annual North American Model Engineering Exposition was conducted April 29 and 30, 2000, at Yack Arena in Wyandotte, Michigan. This unique model engineering exposition was well received by everyone involved, including students, vendors, exhibitors and the general public.

This year the free Educational Day was again conducted Friday, April 28, before the Exposition opened to the general public. This year the students were exposed to learning experiences that included classroom discussions, graphics, cut-a-ways, video tapes, running engines, hands-on opportunities, and machining demonstrations where the young people experienced machine tools making a model steam engine. Nearly fifty grade school, middle school, and high school students, and scouts, were exposed to subjects such as the Stirling cycle hot air engine, the steam engine, the gasoline engine, and demonstrations of lathe and milling machine operations. The day's activities proved very rewarding for the young people and for those who conducted the sessions. In addition to explaining the general operation of the different engines, and machining tools, we shared plans for construction of a simple hot air and steam engine with the young people, in hopes of increasing their interest in model engineering. One of the best endorsements of our Education Day is that teachers and scout leaders continue to bring us their students to participate in this unique event.

For the third year The North American Model Engineering Society sponsored a four-day course. The Study of Steam Power, held April 24-27 at Domino's Farm in Ann Arbor, Michigan, was conducted by N.A.M.E.S. board member Tom Stockton. The course is an in-depth study of all aspects of steam power and emphasizes fundamentals that apply to other heat engines. The fee of $125 included two books, lunch, coffee breaks and one year's N.A.M.E.S. membership. On Sunday, April 23, the class enjoyed a ride in the steam launch Arbor Queen on the nearby Huron River. The steam engine and boiler in the Arbor Queen were made by Tom Stockton.

During the two-day Exposition, six very informative model engineering seminars were conducted with many people attending the sessions. The seminars were: Electronic Discharge Machining, Model Building, Computer Controlled Machining, Model Shop and Tools, Pattern Making for Modelers, and Model 'T' Wheels and Tires in scale. The seminars provided an excellent learning experience for all who attended. Several model-related demonstrations were held on the floor during the exposition and were aimed at the general public to inform them and answer any questions they had concerning the model engineering craft.

Two hundred seventy three exhibitors displayed more than nine hundred models, many of museum quality. The variety of models included hot air, steam, and gasoline running and operating scale model machinery, vehicles and other equipment. The engines were in the form of antique farm, industrial, automotive, marine, aircraft, tractors, railway and military. About 1,000 feet of compressed air line was used to operate the wide array of steam engines. In addition, scale model construction equipment, machine tools including lathes and milling machines, and clocks were displayed and enjoyed by the more than 4,000 spectators who attended the two-day exposition.

The interaction of the general public and the model builder allows the modeler to explain his model and his craft and for the general public to obtain valuable knowledge and a much better understanding and appreciation of model building.


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