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Rube Goldberg, George Washington and Bionic Legs: UT Austin celebrates E-Week

UT Austin engineering students celebrate National Engineers’ Week with a series of free, fun events and colorful, curious inventions.

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WHAT: UT Austin engineering students celebrate National Engineers’ Week with a series of free, fun events and colorful, curious inventions.

WHEN: Saturday (Feb. 17) through Friday (Feb. 23) (SEE SCHEDULE DETAILS BELOW).

WHERE: Events occur throughout the city of Austin, the Austin Independent School District and the UT Austin campus. Contacts with more information are listed below, and maps of UT Austin can be obtained at the following Web site: www.utexas.edu/maps/main

BACKGROUND: To celebrate National Engineers’ Week, UT Austin engineering students will use humor and colorful visuals as they stage events demonstrating the role of engineers in society. National Engineers Week is celebrated around the birthday of George Washington, because the nation’s first president was not only a land surveyor but also a military engineer. The event was started in 1951 by the National Society of Professional Engineers to increase public awareness and appreciation of the engineering profession and its many contributions to society.

11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday (Feb. 17)
Engineering Day at Barton Creek Mall

Exhibits by UT Austin’s engineering societies and competitive events for area schoolchildren mark this day of outreach, education and fun.

Contact: Alvin Leung (512) 694-4083 or Hao Kong at edam@marcni.me.utexas.edu

Monday (Feb. 19) through Friday (Feb. 23)
Engineering visits to public schools

Students join forces with industry representatives from the Texas Society of Professional Engineers to promote the engineering profession at local high schools. Media must alert Audrey Nguyen to attend.

Contact: Audrey Nguyen (512) 633-2203 or (512) 471-3657.

1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday (Feb. 21)
SWE University Squares on UT Austin campus

In a new twist on the TV show Hollywood Squares, sponsored by the Society of Women Engineers, faculty and students compete in answering questions from the categories of engineering/science and UT Trivia in the plaza in front of the ECJ building on campus near 26th and San Jacinto streets.

Contact: Erika Allison (512) 495-3305 or redd05@mail.utexas.edu

4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday (Feb. 21)
Bionic Leg Contest on UT Austin campus

Area high school students and UT biomedical engineering students will compete for prizes in a leg-building contest. They will be using basic mechanical materials to design a bionic leg that can kick a football. The event takes place at the UT Austin Intramural Field No. 3.

Contact: Eric Hanson (512) 471-4947.

8 p.m. (set up at 7 p.m.) Wednesday (Feb. 21)
Theta Tau Rube Goldberg Competition on UT Austin campus

This event features a machine design competition aimed at fostering a more creative outlook on problem solving among UT Austin engineering students. They are competing for best design of a machine to select, wash and peel an apple. The catch is the machine must actually work. The student society with the most creative invention advances to the national competition in Indiana. The contest takes place in the Burnt Orange Room of the Frank Erwin Special Events Center.

Contact: Adam Marinik (512) 656-5625 or (512) 495-4725.

Thursday (Feb. 22)
Human Space Exploration Planning on the UT Austin campus

Dr. Humboldt Mandell, NASA Johnson Space Center, will discuss plans for human missions to explore outer space. This event is sponsored by Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics, and will take place at UT Austin’s MCC building, Room 2.806. The MCC building is near the intersection of Braker Lane and Loop One, MOPAC.

Contact: Dr. Humboldt Mandell (512) 471-7011 or (281) 483-3977 for technical information. For directions, call the UT Austin Center for Space Research (512) 471-5573.