21, No. 15, March 7, 2002
Bill Nye the Science
Guy among guests at Engineering Open House March 8 and 9
Wild and wacky Rube Goldberg machines, robots fighting for possession
of a bowling ball, lively talks by Bill Nye the Science Guy, and more
than 150 fun-filled exhibits are among the attractions awaiting visitors
to the 82nd annual Engineering Open House at the UI.
The event, organized by students in the Engineering Council at the UI,
will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 8 and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. March
9. The UI Engineering Open House is one of the largest technological
showcases of its kind in the nation, attracting more than 30,000 visitors
each year. This years theme Free Your Mind encourages
participants to open their minds and think outside of the box.
Visitor guides containing a campus map and descriptions of the activities
and exhibits will be available at the EOH headquarters booth in the
Kenney Gymnasium Annex. All events are free and open to the public.
"The purpose of the two-day event is to educate and fascinate the
public about science and technology," said Adam Lubchansky, a UI
mechanical engineering student and this years open house director.
"Students from all engineering disciplines will showcase their
talent through innovative projects, design competitions and demonstrations."
One of the highlights of this years celebration will be Nyes
talks. Nye, host of an Emmy Award-winning weekly television series,
will speak from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. both days on the Engineering Quad
south of Grainger Engineering Library and Information Center.
Another highlight will be the 15th annual W.J. "Jerry" Sanders
Creative Design Competition, sponsored by Advanced Micro Devices Inc.,
and named for the companys founder, a UI alumnus. In this years
competition, student-built robots will fight for possession of 10 boccie
balls and a bowling ball.
Approximately 20 teams will compete in the contest, which will be held
both days in the Kenney Gymnasium Annex.
On March 9, Sanders will give a brief speech and present an award for
the most ingenious robot design. The event will take place at noon in
the Kenny Gymnasium Annex.
In the high school design competition, students will again pay homage
to Goldberg, a satirical cartoonist best known for his designs of ridiculously
complicated gadgets that performed the simplest tasks in whimsical,
roundabout ways. This years task is to build a machine that can
secure, raise and wave a national flag in the weirdest way possible.
Each machine must use at least 20 steps to accomplish the task. Approximately
18 teams from Central and Southern Illinois, and several teams from
outside the state, will compete in the contest, which will be held from
11 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 8 in the Illini Union. The top three Illinois
teams will advance to the state championship Rube Goldberg contest,
to be held in Chicago in the spring.
Younger visitors, too, will have an opportunity to test their creativity
as they learn about science and engineering. On March 8, students in
seventh and eighth grades will race homemade sailboats in the Kenney
A special on-site design challenge will be open to visitors of all ages
March 9, also in the gymnasium annex. The task will be to build the
tallest freestanding paper pillar. Building supplies paper and
tape will be provided.
Spread throughout the engineering campus, more than 150 exhibits
featuring student research and projects sponsored by engineering societies
will reflect the heart and soul of Engineering Open House.
Open House fast facts
9 a.m.-4 p.m. March
8 & 9
Engineering Open House
March 8: 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
March 9: 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
On Friday, visitors can park for free in lot F-23 at the corner of First
Street and St. Marys Road (near Assembly Hall) in Champaign, and
take a free shuttle bus from the lot to either Open House.
On Saturday, visitors can park for free along streets and in campus
lots. The shuttle will run continuously both days to help visitors move
easily from the Stock Pavilion, the Meat Science Laboratory, Plant Sciences
Laboratory and also to the Engineering Open House on the north end of