January 25, 2008

27th Engineering Day set for Feb. 19 at SIUC

by Tim Crosby

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Hundreds of high school students from throughout the state will pour into Southern Illinois University Carbondale next month to participate in the annual Engineering Day.

The celebration, aimed at introducing high school students to engineering concepts, includes entertaining challenges such as "The Saluki Egg Drop," in which students figure ways to protect an egg dropped from one story high. Other activities, which SIUC College of Engineering faculty and staff supervise, include 2-liter bottle rocket launches and keeping dry ice from melting.

Engineering Day is set for 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 19, at the SIUC Engineering Building.

Media Advisory

Reporters, photographers and news crews are welcome to cover the annual SIUC Engineering Day activities. Organizers say the best activities take place between 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. Contact John W. Nicklow, associate dean, at 618/453-4321 for more information.

Almost 600 students and teachers from high schools throughout the area and state will learn how engineers solve problems using science and technology. To participate, high schools must pre-register for the event. After pre-registration, the college will send high schools informational packets about its programs.

The day's events include various programs and games organized by SIUC engineering students. Those students also will teach and perform project demonstrations. Activities include bridge building, in which students receive 30 plastic straws to do so, the Saluki Egg Drop, hovercraft engineering and paper airplane design, among others. Students can choose to participate in five of the nine events offered and compete to win engineering-themed T-shirts. The overall winner will receive a Saluki jacket.

Representatives and displays from several engineering student organizations, including the formula racing, hovercraft and moon buggy groups, will be on hand, along with those from area industries and SIUC researchers.

A banquet follows the day's events. Dick Blaudow, a 1970 SIUC graduate and founder of Advanced Technology Services Inc., is this year's banquet speaker.

In 2006, Blaudow, along with his wife, Brigitte, donated $250,000 to establish "The Blaudow — ATS Program for Technical Leadership in Manufacturing." The program is aimed at graduating community college students transferring into an engineering program at SIUC. A $14,000 value, the scholarship is designed to cover virtually all tuition and fees during the students' junior and senior years, and provides a paid internship with ATS Inc.

The banquet is in Ballroom D at the SIUC Student Center. Tickets are still available and are $20 for faculty and staff and $4 for students.

Engineering Day is part of Engineering Week, a worldwide tradition that dates back to 1951 and honors engineers and engineering achievements. This year's event marks the 27th Engineering Day event at SIUC.

To pre-register, contact Julie Eisenhauer at 618/453-7992 or eisenhauer@engr.siu.edu. Space is limited, so register early.