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Citadel News Service
19 Feb 2010

Engineering Fair rescheduled for Feb. 27

The Citadel School of Engineering’s 11th Annual Engineering Fair, which features robotics and bridge building competitions for middle and high school students, has been rescheduled for 8 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 27 in Buyer Auditorium, Mark Clark Hall.  The event is open to the public and will conclude around noon.

Originally planned for Feb. 13 during National Engineers’ Week, the week of George Washington’s birthday, the fair was canceled due to snow throughout the Lowcountry.

The Engineering Fair is designed to expose Lowcountry middle and high school students to fundamental math and science principles for understanding engineering issues and methods.  Highlights of the annual event include the bridge building and the robotics competitions.

The craft stick bridge competition tests bridges for strength to weight ratio.  Bridges constructed of craft sticks and wood glue will be loaded at mid-span until they collapse.  The maximum load divided by the bridge weight will determine students’ scores.  Awards will be presented for maximum strength to weight ratio, maximum load and lightest bridge to hold minimum load of 2500 grams.  Awards are also given for most original design, most constructible and best craftsmanship.

In the robotics competition, students pit their team-built Lego robots against each other in one-on-one competitions.  Robot teams can choose between two different competitions—baseball or golf.  In the baseball competition, one robot hits a ball off a tee and runs bases while the other tries to find a capture the ball.  The robots then switch places and play again.  In the golf competition, each team tries to push plastic cups into a hole in the middle of the playing field.  In both competitions, the robots must think and make decisions on its own with no intervention from the teams.

The fair also will feature interactive displays of inventions designed and built by electrical engineering senior design teams of Citadel cadets.  Inventions include an energy harvesting robot, an automatic child protection system, a sudden infant death syndrome monitoring system, and a guitar trainer.

"Engineering Week is an exciting time for us,” said Dennis Fallon, dean of the School of Engineering.  “It’s an excellent opportunity for us to showcase the work of our cadets as well as introduce the field of engineering to middle and high school students.”

The fair is co-sponsored by the Charleston Engineers Joint Council. For more information on EWeek, go to www.citadel.edu/eweek.

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