Killer robots, concept cars, high-flying blimps and liquid nitrogen ice cream â€” it must be Engineers Week again, an exhibition running from April 8 to April 12. Admission is free and events take place in the Court of Sciences on the UCLA campus.
Engineers Week (E-Week) is a combination of the educational and the playful, an intriguing mix of science lesson and carnival attraction. Dunking booths and basketball shootouts are side-by-side with home safety kit presentations and a discussion panel for women in engineering. Visitors can join in cheer-offs to test an applause meter design, or engage in â€śgrisly hovercraft combatâ€? in a video game demo called â€śHover Carnage.â€?
E-Week began as a national event in 1951, becoming a regular event at UCLA in the early 1960s. While National E-Week is held every February to celebrate George Washingtonâ€™s birthday (Americaâ€™s first president had a background in engineering and land surveying), UCLA traditionally holds its E-Week in the Spring Quarter to avoid Southern Californiaâ€™s seasonal wet weather.
E-Week activities are created, organized and carried out by student members from a number of engineering societies, coordinated by the Engineering Society of the University of California. All week engineering students will be applying the lessons learned in class with hands-on displays, games and exhibition-style demonstrations.
Some familiar student projects will be put on view, including the ever-deadly Son of Boelter Beast robot, due to compete this spring on Comedy Centralâ€™s â€śBattlebotsâ€? tournament.
The Society of Automotive Engineers will also unveil their newest car design, an off-road vehicle built to withstand the punishment of rough terrain.
Organizers hope to familiarize the campus with the engineering profession and its place in todayâ€™s technological world. â€śCommunication between the technical and non-technical portion of society is very important,â€? said organizer Rex Lorenzo. â€śThe public has to make
informed decisions on technical issues like nuclear power, rapid transit and space exploration, and engineers can understand and explain these issues.â€?
E-Week is also a chance to show that engineering is not just about algorithms and lab tests. â€śItâ€™s an educational event,â€? Lorenzo said, â€śbut it will also be a lot of fun.â€?
For more information about E-Week, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.