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Planet Earth to Star at Engineering Expo

Thursday, February 14, 2008

[Engineering Expo flier]

KU’s Crimson and Blue will have a decidedly green hue during Engineering Expo. The annual University of Kansas extravaganza on Friday, Feb. 22, and Saturday, Feb. 23, is adopting the environmental theme: Planet Engineering.

Area students and residents are invited to take part in the festivities of this two-day celebration of engineering and computer science. Coordinated by Engineering Student Council, Expo features dozens of exhibits and student projects that demonstrate the fun and power of technology.

Expo, which is free and open to the public, usually draws between 1,000 and 2,000 visitors. Students in the KU School of Engineering are planning and implementing dozens of interactive exhibits, contests and activities for Expo visitors.

KU environmental engineering alumnus Daniel Vallero, adjunct professor of environmental engineering at Duke University and former researcher with the Environmental Protection Agency, will kickoff Expo activities as the keynote speaker at 9:30 a.m., Friday, in the Lied Center. Vallero, who earned his master’s degree from KU in 1996, conducts research in chemical fate and transport of pollutants, especially those that accumulate in the food chain. Vallero also was leader of a research team studying air pollution in New York City resulting from the Sept. 11 attacks. After Vallero’s presentation, KU students, visitors and guests will head to Eaton and Learned halls for the rest of the Expo activities.

Displays and hands-on activities at Eaton and Learned are open from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Feb. 22 and from 9 a.m. to noon on Feb. 23. All are welcome to view the action as the competitions for elementary, junior high and high school students unfold.

Several design contests, which begin at 11 a.m. Friday, are in the works, including:

• volcano building competition, sponsored by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers

• aerospace and aeronautics design contest, participants will be asked to design something that pertains to flight. Specific instructions will be announced at Expo and all supplies will be provided.

• pasta bridge contest

• egg drop contest

• digital logic contest

• construct-a-car contest

• programming contest

• green engineering scavenger hunt

• Society of Petroleum Engineers environmental safety quiz

• Rube Goldberg contest

Visitors will be able to take part in a variety of themed activities. Among the dozens of hands-on activities and displays that have been at recent Expos are:

• kinematic suit to track the motion of the human body

• make your own concrete

• wind tunnel demonstrations

• T-shirt tossing trebuchet

• networked computer gaming

• heat transfer pancake feed

• root beer brewing

• 3-D video cameras

• graham cracker house building

• rocket design

• concrete canoe

• flight simulator

• space shuttle simulator

• racecar simulator

• formula-style competition racecars

• Acoustics and lighting displays, including voice and sound modulation

• chemistry show

• Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets

• robotics

Saturday’s event also includes activities to recognize top high school seniors in the state who’ve indicated a desire to study engineering or computer science at KU.

Complete information about Engineering Expo, as well as contest guidelines and registration information, can be found at the

ESC Web site.

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