February 20, 2012

Special events mark National Engineers Week

by Tim Crosby

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Faculty and future engineers at Southern Illinois University Carbondale this week will recognize top scholars and open the world of engineering to young people as they celebrate National Engineers Week.

More than 400 high school students will visit the College of Engineering starting Wednesday, Feb. 22. The visitors will get a taste of what engineering is all about, organizers said, as well as have a chance to solve some engineering problems while they are here.

Media Advisory

Reporters, photographers and camera crews are welcome to cover Engineering Week events at SIU Carbondale. For more information, contact Kaleb Schwartz, president of the Engineering Student Council at (815)-543-6248 or kschwartz@siu.edu.

This year, the college’s Engineering Student Council is running the event, with other engineering registered student organizations pitching in along with faculty and staff.  The student groups will host engineering-themed games in which the high school students will compete. Games this year include robotic soccer competitions, two-liter bottle rocket launch, a marshmallow launch and the famous “Saluki Egg Drop,” in which students try to fashion containers that will protect an egg from breaking when dropped from a certain height.

Also new this year is a sound formation contest using gelatin.  “Basically, we will have a sub woofer speaker hooked up to some sound equipment and the sound waves will form the gelatin into different shapes,” said Kaleb Schwartz, a senior in industrial technology and president of the Engineering Student Council, who is helping organize this year’s events. Judges will select the winners of the competition based on the various uniqueness of the final gelatin pieces.

The RSOs also will set up displays on their accomplishments for the high school students to view.

“Wednesday is used not only as a recruiting tool for the college, but also to spark the interest of young minds in different aspects of engineering,” Schwartz said.

On Thursday, the college will play host to the Engineering & Technology Professional Expo. About 30 companies will be on hand to recruit engineering students.  The expo will run 1-4 p.m.  in Ballrooms A and B at the Student Center.

Later in the evening on Thursday, the college will hold its annual banquet. Students, faculty and staff, along with alumni and corporate sponsors will attend the event, which features a presentation by John Warwick, dean of the College of Engineering, and awards for students and faculty.  The banquet runs 6-9 p.m. in Ballrooms C and D at the Student Center.

Lizette Chevalier, acting associate dean of the college, said the events are part of National Engineers Week, which highlights engineering activities and education throughout the country.

“By bringing high school students to our campus, we have an opportunity to challenge their problem-solving and design skills, to showcase our student organizations and to build Saluki pride,” she said.

For more information on National Engineering Week, go to http://www.eweek.org/Home.aspx.