LAWRENCE — Three days of engineering activities, demonstrations and competitions are set for Feb. 25-27 at the University of Kansas School of Engineering. More than 3,000 K-12 students and community members are expected to attend this year’s Engineering Expo.
Thursday’s events are geared toward middle school teams and competitions. Matt Fadden, assistant professor civil, environmental and architectural engineering, will be the keynote speaker at a welcome event at the Lied Center.
High school and grade school competitions are set for Friday, when Albert Dirkzwager, director of Structural Integrity and Textron Aviation, will deliver the keynote address at the Lied Center. Each day will feature an awards ceremony to recognize competition winners. Competitions include Chemical Car, Gravity Car, Pasta Bridge, Robotic Soccer, Skyscraper, Slingshot and Trebuchet.
Saturday events run from 9 a.m. to noon and are open to the public.
“We want to get the younger generation of students excited about engineering,” said Aubrey Jeffries, Expo registration chair and sophomore in petroleum engineering. “We also want to show them that not only is this what KU has to offer, but this is what engineering and science is — and all the cool things you can do with it.”
The Expo theme this year is Engineering Around the World. Each engineering organization will choose a country to represent, and decorations throughout the engineering complex will celebrate engineering accomplishments from all over the world.
“We are focusing on ‘famous dead guys’ from all these countries who made all these things we utilize today and connecting them to huge, monumental projects,” Jeffries said. “We wanted it to be broad but show that everyone has contributed to all the things we’re lucky enough to have today through their discoveries.”
Competitions, events and activities will take place in LEEP2, Eaton Hall and Learned Hall as well as the engineering lawn. Attendees can take a virtual tour of an oilrig, create a slimy polymer solution or build a souvenir rocket — among other activities. See the full schedule.
The KU Engineering Expo is a century-old tradition that started as a parade of floats representing individual engineering departments.