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U. of I. Engineering Open
House to take place March 10-11
Office of Engineering Communications
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. —
Wild and wacky Rube Goldberg machines, “robot wars,” and
more than 160 fun-filled exhibits await visitors to “Beyond Imagination,”
the 86th annual Engineering Open House at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
“We are expecting well over 10,000 visitors, who will experience
the myriad of engineering marvels and mysteries in this ever-changing
world,” said Doug Johnson, the director of the open house. “This
is a chance for the engineers here to show off what they do during their
spare time. EOH is a great forum for teaching a broad variety of audiences
about how engineering affects their lives.”
The event, organized by students in the Engineering Council at Illinois,
will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday (March 10) and from
9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday (March 11).
The open house is free and open to the public. Visitor guides containing
a campus map and descriptions of the activities and exhibits will be
available at the EOH headquarters booth in the Digital Computing Lab,
1304 W. Springfield Ave., Urbana.
A major highlight of this year’s open house will be the 20th Annual
W.J. “Jerry” Sanders Creative Design Competition. Students
work for six months in teams of up to seven members constructing robots
to complete a specified task. The contest – sponsored by Advanced
Micro Devices and named for the company’s founder – awards
more than $5,000 in prizes and promotes excellence in engineering through
multidisciplinary cooperation. Visitors can watch the remote-controlled
vehicles battle in the Kenney Gymnasium Annex, 1406 W. Springfield,
In the annual High School Design Contest at the Armory, 505 E. Armory
Ave., Champaign, student teams from across the state apply concepts
learned in the classroom along with their creativity toward constructing
Rube Goldberg machines – named for the complicated contraptions
made famous in cartoons by Rueben Lucius Goldberg. This year’s
task challenges the designers to shred five pieces paper individually
in the most ingenious, roundabout way possible. Each machine must use
at least 20 steps to accomplish the task.
Other contests for middle school and elementary school students allow
youngsters to explore aspects of engineering as they learn and apply
principles to solve problems.
Food and entertainment will be located in “Area 51” at the
south end of the Bardeen Engineering Quad. Student-led tours, highlighting
some of the most exciting exhibits and lasting about 30 minutes, also
will leave from Area 51.
As part of the festivities, the College of Engineering will dedicate
its new Engineering Student Projects Laboratory, 1021 W. Western Ave.,
Urbana, at 2 p.m. on Friday. The 7,000 square foot facility includes
a showroom, space for team meetings, computer workstations, plus workspaces
for senior projects.