Parents looking to expose their children to some real engineering and science principles on the sly should circle Feb. 24-25 on their calendars. A dozen student design teams from the University of Missouri-Rolla will converge on the St. Louis Science Center that weekend as part of the center’s National Engineers Week activities.
Engineers Week, Feb. 18-24, is observed and celebrated by many communities around the country. The National Society of Professional Engineers started Engineers Week in 1951 to highlight the continuing progress and contributions being made in the engineering profession.
Among those representing UMR in the exhibit will be:
- Advanced Aero Vehicle Group, which constructs a remote-controlled airplane for the annual Society of Automotive Engineers’ Aero Design competition. The team is also helping to establish an intercollegiate rocket competition and will unveil its 12-foot rocket. On its inaugural launch, the rocket zoomed up to 19,000 feet at 1,000 mph.
- Baja Team, which designs and builds a four-wheel, single-seat, off-road recreational prototype vehicle to be accepted for manufacture by a fictitious firm. The car must be marketable, safe and cost-efficient, yet able to withstand a battery of challenges through a maneuverability time trial, a four-hour endurance race, hill climbing and drag racing.
- Chem-E Car Team, which designs a chemical reaction-driven, autonomous vehicle for regional and national competitions. Cars must be powered with a chemical energy source — no commercial batteries allowed — that will carry a specified load over a given distance and stop.
- Concrete Canoe Team, which designs and constructs a canoe out of concrete and, assuming the vessel passes the “swamp test,” navigates the canoe across several staged race events.
- Formula SAE Team, which designs a one-third scale prototype racing car for evaluation and possible production by a fictional automotive manufacturer. The car is judged according to static engineering design, cost analysis, acceleration, maneuverability, fuel economy, endurance and other factors.
- Human-Powered Vehicle Team, which designs and constructs a human-powered “superbike” for annual competitions (East and West coasts). The team won its fifth straight East-coast championship in 2006.
- Keramos, the university’s ceramic engineering honor society. Representing both metallurgists and ceramists, members will demonstrate the unique properties of materials by holding a space shuttle tile bare-handed and firing the other side with a blow torch, pulling candy fibers out of melted Jolly Ranchers, bouncing a metal ball on metallic glass to show resilience and more.
- Robotics Team, which designs a robot for the Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition. The robot uses GPS visual clues and other sensor data to steer itself through an obstacle course. — Solar Car Team, which builds a solar-powered vehicle for a biennial cross-country race. The team captured the 2003 American Solar Challenge — the national championship of solar car racing.
- Solar House Team, which designs and builds a solar-powered house that can accommodate the modern lifestyle. The house is transported to the national mall in Washington, D.C., where it is set up with other solar-powered homes and judged in the Solar Decathlon.
- Steel Bridge Team, which designs and constructs small-scale bridges from steel in timed events as part of regional and national competitions.
- UMR’s American Nuclear Society. The students will have geiger counters and lead demonstrations on radiation.