Lighthearted Demonstrations Showcase the Value of Engineering In Everyday Life During Annual E-Week, April 11-15
By UCLA Samueli Newsroom
Join the engineering students of UCLA for concrete bowling, liquid nitrogen ice cream, firefighting robots, a tug-of-war between faculty, staff and students, and a mix of many other educational and fun demonstrations during Engineers Week, to be held on campus from April 11-15.
Coordinated by the Engineering Society of the University of California (ESUC), E-Week showcases the value of engineering in an accessible way, with activities open to everyone on campus. Pie-eating contests share space with water filtration systems that can be set up in remote locations, and engineering jeopardy and firefighting robots are contrasted with E-Week Idol, a student version of the popular “American Idol” television program. Some familiar student projects also will be on view, including human-powered vehicles, miniature robots and electronic racecars.
Activities are created, organized and carried out by student members from a number of engineering organizations in collaboration with the Engineering Society. Throughout the week, engineering students will be applying the lessons learned in the classroom through hands-on displays, games and exhibition-style demonstrations. Organizers hope to familiarize the campus with the engineering profession and its place in today’s technological world.
“As members of society, engineers must share their knowledge and experiences, applying what they have learned to the greater good of the world at large,” says Erick Loh, E-Week chair.
On Monday in Bruin Plaza, E-Week will host several demonstrations that show the students’ ingenuity.
From 11 a.m.- 2 p.m., onlookers can view an autonomous robot, which, with the aid of analog/digital sensors, microcontrollers and artificial intelligence, is able to navigate a model house with furniture (unmarked obstacles), small staircases and uneven floors. Without any outside intervention, the robot is able to detect a fire (in this case a candle) and take measures to extinguish the flame. The firefighting robot also will be on display Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m.- 2 p.m. in the Court of Sciences.
Also on Monday in Bruin Plaza, engineering students will showcase their ability to build water filtration systems out of materials found in remote locations where clean water is not accessible, as well as a solar still, a water purification system only using the energy from the sun and the concept of condensation. The water filtration system and the solar still also will be on view in the Court of Sciences Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 11 a.m.- 2 p.m.
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 Washington’s birthday (America’s first president had a background in engineering and land surveying), UCLA traditionally holds its E-Week in the Spring Quarter.