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Engineering Expo Blasts Off Friday

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

More than 1,000 students from more than 70 elementary, middle and high schools in Kansas and Missouri will get hands-on learning experiences with the lighter side of engineering at the 99th annual Engineering Expo at the University of Kansas. It’s set for Feb. 19-20 at Eaton and Learned halls.

This year’s expo centers the theme “Where in the World?” The event is designed to show students the doors that engineering can open and illustrate engineering’s global reach.

“We’re trying to open up the field of engineering to students, so they know all the cool stuff KU does and all different things you can do on campus,” said Mary Adams, one of the expo’s student organizers.

The first day of the expo includes 11 design competitions, a scavenger hunt and an address by Linda Sims, a KU chemical engineering alumna and representative of ExxonMobil, who will describe her experiences dealing with cultures across the globe. Sims, who is chair of the School of Engineering Advisory Board, will speak at 9:30 a.m. Feb. 19 at the Lied Center. The public is welcome to attend.

The design competitions, scheduled begin at 10:30 a.m. at the engineering complex, cater to students of all ages. Included are an egg drop, in which groups are challenged to create a structure that will ensure an egg will survive a one-story fall, and a racquetball launch, in which students must design a gravity-powered mechanism known as a trebuchet to fire a racquetball with as much distance and accuracy possible. Awards will be presented to the top performers beginning at 1 p.m.

Students also can see demonstrations from more than 20 KU student organizations as well as student projects from disciplines within the School of Engineering. Among the highlights are an edible concrete exhibit, video imaging robot, model rocket launch and dancing flubber.

On Feb. 20, the community is invited to an open house from 9 a.m. to noon at the School of Engineering. This provides an opportunity for an up-close look at projects, displays and labs, including the wind tunnel and the Jayhawk Motorsports car.

A full list of the competitions, displays, projects and more information can be found at the School of Engineering Web site.

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