Engineering Day features contests, demonstrations

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By Steven King

UK Engineering Day, or E-day, showed the many aspects of engineering on Saturday, for future UK students and their families.

The day consisted of contests, demonstrations and organizations throughout the Central Campus Engineering Complex, showing the various opportunities engineering provides.

“E-day is not limited to an academic department, but it is a wide variety of things that people can use to learn about engineering,” said Bob Edwards, the director of marketing for the College of Engineering. “People can use the open-house environment to get a sense of what engineering and computer scientists do.”

E-day comes at the end of Engineers Week, which is a a coalition of more than 100 professional societies, major corporations and government agencies that come together to promote math and science literacy, according to the E-day website.

In its 66th year, E-day also featured a contest for a $4,000 scholarship to a future engineering student at UK. Edwards said the winner will be selected in May.

“Not only is engineering important for society, but it’s a good career choice for students,” Edwards said. “You don’t necessarily have to go to graduate school upon graduation because you can make very good money as a new graduate.”

The Edible Car Contest, large-scale Fire Whirl Demonstration and Egg Drop Contest were among the most popular events at E-day. Groups of people reacted in awe as various scientific principles were explored and demonstrated.

Tianxiang Li, an engineering professor who helped with the large scale Fire Whirl Demonstration, said families are not the only people that benefit from E-Day.

“I think it benefits both sides,” Li said. “The families learn about engineering, which is most important, but the students and faculty get something from teaching people about engineering.”

Morgan Rouse, a civil engineering freshman, helped run the Edible Car Contest, in which contestants could build an edible car to race down a ramp. The contest was organized by the Society of Women’s Engineers.

Children worked with their parents in some instances to win the contest, and Rouse said this type of activity promotes interest in engineering for children in a fun way.

“I wish I had an E-Day,” Rouse said. “It’s just a great way to get kids interested in a career in engineering.”