Founded by the National Society of Professional Engineers in 1951, the annual event honors first U.S. president George Washington, who was also an engineer and a land surveyor, while raising awareness of engineering as a profession. Each day of Engineering Week features activities hosted by engineering association chapters such as SWE, BMES, IEEE, NSBE, ASME, and Tau Beta Pi, in partnership with engineering students.
In 2007 IEEE's activity was 'The Rubens' Tube, also known as the standing wave flame tube is a physics experiment demonstrating a standing wave, and a classic experiment for electrical engineering students. It shows the relationship between sound waves and air pressure. A length of pipe is perforated along the top and sealed at both ends - one seal attached to a small speaker, the other to a gas grill. Once the speaker is turned on, pressure changes caused by the sound waves will cause the flames to heighten in some areas and to lower in others. That's where the iPod comes in. This year, IEEE students hooked that speaker up to the mp3 player, watching pressure changes brought by classic music to hardrock.
For mechanical engineering students, the senior design project is the most highly anticipated part of the undergraduate curriculum. In the course of this yearlong project, students employ all the theories and lessons learned in the classroom and all the late night hours of studying in the design and construction of a major student-chosen project. Past projects have included a Mini-Baja, remote-controlled airplanes, battle-bots, and human-powered vehicles. The class of 2006 chose to design and build a working hovercraft.
Diet Soda and Mentos Challenge
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Each year up to 250 engineering schools from around the country participate in the Concrete Canoe Competition. There is no deception in the name of the competition: these teams of engineering students build full-sized canoes out of concrete. You might ask: Do they actually float? They do! The vessels, which weight several hundred pounds, are nearly impossible to sink as they are made of buoyant concrete, designed, analyzed, tested and constructed in a yearlong process. The competition culminates in a three-day event in which the teams must present their research and race their canoes in a series of co-ed sprints and slalom races.