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Citadel News Service
2 Feb 2012

Educating the next generation of engineers

Science, technology, engineering and math ingenuity to highlight Engineer’s Week

Many Lowcountry kids spend their weekends tossing a baseball around or perhaps getting in a little putting practice. On Saturday, Feb. 18, more than 100 area school children will let robots play for them. It’s all part of The Citadel School of Engineering’s National Engineer’s Week Engineering Fair, which runs from 8 a.m. to noon in Buyer Auditorium in Mark Clark Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

“Engineer’s Week is a chance to focus on the importance of educating the next generation of engineers. Students are at the heart of The Citadel’s EWeek activities,” said Mark McKinney, professor of electrical engineering and Citadel EWeek organizer. “They really give these budding young engineers a chance to experience the engineering design process. It’s a real thrill to see the enthusiasm and excitement they bring to the competitions.” 

For more information about Engineer's Week go to

In its 13th year, the Engineering Fair is designed to expose Lowcountry middle and high school students to fundamental math and science principles for understanding engineering design issues and methods. Highlights of the annual event include craft stick bridge building and robotics competitions.

Bridges made of craft sticks and wood glue will be judged on best structural design, original design and craftsmanship. In the robotics competitions, students will pit their team-built Lego robots against each other in a baseball game where the robots must be able to run bases and search for a ball hit into the outfield. In the second competition, Lego golf robots must push cups into a hole while trying to prevent their opponent from capturing their cups. For both competitions, the robots must think and make decisions on their own.

The fair also will feature interactive displays of inventions designed and built by Citadel electrical engineering students. These include a firefighting robot, a regenerative electric car braking system that recaptures energy lost by braking; an electronic version of the popular tailgating game corn hole and a computerized physical training test module designed to keep track of push-ups and other activities.

Engineer’s Week is co-sponsored with the Charleston Engineers Joint Council. For more information about Engineer's Week go to

The Engineering Fair and the Storm The Citadel Trebuchet Competition, sponsored by Google, are among several events planned to celebrate Engineer’s Week. A complete schedule follows.

Schedule of Events

In celebration of National Engineer’s Week, The Citadel and the Charleston Engineers Joint Council will sponsor several events at The Citadel.

Friday, Feb. 17

9 a.m.-1p.m., Buyer Auditorium, Mark Clark Hall

MathCounts is a national program that promotes mathematical excellence in middle school students. The Citadel will host a local MathCounts competition for Lowcountry students.

Saturday., Feb. 18

Engineering Fair
8 a.m.–noon, Buyer Auditorium, Mark Clark Hall

The annual Engineering Fair for Lowcountry Students is held annually to expose middle and high school students to fundamental math and science principles vital to understanding engineering issues and methods.

Model Bridge Competition – 8 to 11:30 a.m.
Bridge Registration – 8 to 9 a.m.
Bridge Judging – 8:30 to 10 a.m.
Bridge Testing – 10 to 11:30 a.m.
Robotics Competition – 8 a.m. to noon
Competition – 9 to 11:30 a.m.
Compilation of Results  –11:30 a.m. to noon
Electrical Engineering students’ senior projects – 9 a.m. to noon
Awards ceremony – Noon

Saturday, Feb. 18

Storm The Citadel Trebuchet Competition
9:30 a.m., Summerall Field

Sponsored by Google, this competition will challenge teams to design and build a trebuchet within specifications to accurately hit a target.

Sunday, Feb. 19

Celebrate the G in Engineer
2-5 p.m., Buyer Auditorium, Mark Clark Hall

The Discover Engineering Event is co-hosted by the Citadel’s student section of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and the Lowcountry professional section of SWE. This event is open to Girl Scouts at the Junior and Cadette Level. The girls will be introduced to the engineering process through several activities that span the different engineering disciplines. The cost is $10 per girl and girls should register before Feb. 3 through the North Charleston Service Center.

Tuesday, Feb. 22

Charleston Engineers Joint Council Annual Engineer’s Banquet
5:30-8 p.m., Holliday Alumni Center, 69 Hagood Ave.

The highlight of the week is the National Engineers Week Banquet hosted by The Citadel and the Charleston Engineers Joint Council (CEJC). The keynote speaker is Ralph R. Roe, Jr., director of the NASA Engineering and Safety Center. Roe will discuss how NASA solves complex engineering problems.The CEJC Engineer of the Year will be awarded and individual societies will discuss on their contributions to the community. Banquet tickets are $15 for students and $30 for adults if purchased before Feb. 15. Adult tickets purchased after Feb. 15 cost $35. Purchase tickets online or see a CEJC rep.

Achieving excellence in the education and development of principled leaders
Media Contact:
Kim Keelor-Parker
(843) 953-2155

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