February 14, 2007

Annual Engineering Day celebration set for Feb. 22

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Students from throughout Illinois will be at Southern Illinois University Carbondale later this month to test their skills at keeping dry ice from melting, protecting eggs from breaking in a one-story fall, and launching 2-liter bottle rockets into space.

Students from 34 junior high and high schools will participate in various engineering-related projects at SIUC's annual Engineering Day celebration, Thursday, Feb. 22. The event begins at 9 a.m. in the SIUC Engineering Building and lasts until 2 p.m.


Media Advisory

Reporters, photographers and camera crews are welcome to cover any of the day's events, which run concurrently from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Organizers say the best action usually occurs between 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. For more information, contact interim associate dean John W. Nicklow at 618/453-4321.


Students will learn what engineers do and explore opportunities in science, technology and engineering, while also having a lot of fun, interim associate director John W. Nicklow said. Nearly 700 students and teachers will participate.

Students pre-registered for the event. They will receive informational packets about the College of Engineering, its research activities, and the University, Nicklow said.

"We are viewing this as a recruitment event so we are targeting more students," Nicklow said.

SIUC engineering students from various programs and student groups are organizing the games. They will teach, demonstrate projects, and answer engineering-related questions posed by younger students.

The myriad of games include "Bridge Over No Man's Gorge," where participants use 30 plastic straws in building a bridge to withstand loads while spanning a 20-inch gorge; hovercraft building; paper airplane design and flight; "Saluki Egg Drop"; and "Puff Mobile."

There is a pentathlon competition, where students will compete in five of eight events. Engineering T-shirts are awarded to the first- and second-place winners in each event. The overall winner receives a Saluki Gear prize pack valued at $50.

Saluki mascot, "Brown Dawg," will also make an appearance.

Engineering Day is part of Engineering Week, an annual celebration of engineers and engineering achievement that started in 1951. This is the SIUCs 26th annual Engineering Day event.

Sue Gaines, a 1984 SIUC College of Engineering alumnus who works for NASA on the Kennedy Space Center's Constellation Project, is the keynote speaker at the evening banquet in Student Center Ballroom D. Banquet tickets are still available — $15 for faculty and staff, and $3 for students.

Students at these schools are participating:

Anna-Jonesboro Community High School; Beecher City Junior and Senior High School; Brownstown High School; Bunker Hill High School, Carrier Mills-Stonefort High School; Carbondale Community High School; Carbondale Middle School; Carmi-White County High School; Casey-Westfield High School; Century High School; Crab Orchard High School; Du Quoin High School; Egyptian High School; Eldorado High School; Elverado High School; Flora High School; Frankfort Community High School in West Frankfort; Hamilton County Senior High School; Lawrenceville High School; Marissa Junior-Senior High School; Martinsville High School; Mascoutah High School; Mater Dei High School in Breese; Norris City-Omaha-Enfield High School; Paris High School; Red Bud High School; Trico High School; Waltonville High School; Webber Township High School, and Woodlawn High School.