Community Programs and Outreach
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St. Helena Elementary School Visits The Citadel: March 9, 2012 and April 20, 2012
First Robotics Social: March 23, 2012
Engineering Week Activities 2012: February 17-19, 2012
Battery To Beach Community Service Project: September 7-8, 2011
STEM Robotics Summer Camp: August 1-5, 2011
Fifth graders from St. Helena Elementary School in Beaufort County visited The Citadel on 9 March and 20 April to tour the School of Engineering, see our students in action, and participate in an activity like a laboratory experiment. The students observed fluid flow and how sensors, radios and robots worked.
The glowing reports from the teachers and students was that they had a great time learning about The Citadel and engineering. It is a great day when we have the opportunity to reach the youth and ignite their enthusiasm for engineering and higher education. The students reported that they had wished that they had more time at The Citadel and plan to return for another visit in the future.
The First Robotics Social took place at The Citadel on March 23rd, 2012. Sponsors included:Lockheed Martin, SAIC, Google and Segway of Charleston. The social served as a break for the teams competing in the First Robotics Competition. There were 900 competitors in attendance that made up 36 teams. The social was broken up into three activities. The teams were treated to a dinner in the Citadel Mess Hall. While at dinner, they were able to watch engineering testimonials. The second part of the social consisted of company displays. The companies present at the social included General Dynamics, SPAWAR, Boeing, Duke-Energy, SAIC, Lockheed Martin, ARCADIS, and Dennis Corporation. The competitors visited each company display and learned about the company and were able to participate in hands-on demonstrations. After visiting each display, the kids filled out a punch card to enter a raffle for prizes. The Grand Prize from the drawing was a Tablet PC provided by Google. This was presented by Dean Welch at the competition on Saturday, the 24th. The last activity was the competition games. Teams entered competitions, which included Wally Ball, Cornhole, Football Toss, Free Throw Competition, Ping Pong, Segway, Darts, Speed Pool, Tug-a-War and a Team Shirt Design Competition. The games were tournament style with different rounds and a final for first, second, and third place. The First Robotics Social was a huge success and a welcomed break from the intense Robotics Competition.
Math Counts: Local Student Mathletes Competed in Local Math Contest: February 17, 2012
Middle school Mathletes from area public, private, and parochial schools competed in the local contest of the national MATHCOUNTS program on February 17, 2012 in Charleston, South Carolina at The Citadel's Mark Clark Hall. The competition was part of The Citadel's Engineering Week activities and was organized by the Charleston Chapter of the South Carolina Society of Professional Engineers. A total of 15 schools and 100 students competed. Teachers and students have been preparing for the competition since the fall.
Students competed individually and as teams in written and fast-paced oral matchers. Subjects included algebra, probability, statistics and geometry. Winners received awards and advanced to the state MATHCOUNTS finals, held in Conway at Coastal Carolina University on March 3, 2012.
Bridge Testing Event, Civil Engineering Cadets Participate in Popsicle Stick Bridge Competition
Cadets from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering recently organized and conducted the 2012 Lowcountry Popsicle Stick Bridge Competition, which took place at Mark Clark Hall on February 18th as part of National Engineers Week at The Citadel. The competition was open to all middle school and high school students across the Charleston, Berkeley, and Dorchester counties. Bridges were judged across five categories: Best Structural Design, Best Architectural Design, Most Original Design, Most Constructible, and Best Craftsmanship. The panel of judges included faculty and students from The Citadel, representatives from the local branch of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, as well as a representative from the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT). A total of 18 bridges were entered into the competition by participants from 7 schools across the Charleston Tri-County area. Over 50 people were present at the competition as participants were joined by family and friends to witness the load testing in the morning and presentation of trophies at the awards ceremony after the competition.
Girl's Scout Event, Celebrating the Girls in Engineering: February 19, 2012
The Girl Scout Event took place on Sunday, February 19th. It was sponsored by the Lowcountry Society of Woman Engineers and The Citadel. Approximately 40 Girl Scouts were in attendance. There were 2 Citadel Society of Women Engineers Cadet female volunteers, 4 Citadel ASCE Cadet male volunteers, and 6 professional section volunteers that served as table facilitators for the Girl Scouts. There was 1 professional and 1 student mentor at each of the 6 tables of Girl Scouts. There were approximately 6 Girl Scouts per table. The overall theme for the event was understanding the engineering design process. An emphasis was placed on understanding the importance of detailed drawings of designs and designing before building.
The girls did 3 activities: On Target, Tower Design, and Burglar Alarm. The On Target activity required the girls to build a device from a cup, paperclip, string, and tape that could slide down fishing line and remotely release a penny on a target. The Tower Design activity required the girls to use paper clips, binder clips, and notecards to build a 6-inch tower that could support the load of a steel manual for 30 seconds. The Burglar Alarm activity had the girls build an electrical circuit that was connected when pressure was applied to a file folder. When the circuit was connected, an alarm sounded. This device could be placed at an entrance (like the Girl's bedroom) to alert them when an "intruder" entered.
2012 eWeek Robotics Competition
Many youth in the Lowcountry spend their weekends tossing the baseball around or perhaps getting in a little putting practice. In February of this year, however, many of these youngsters let robots do their playing for them. It was all part of the The 13th Annual Citadel Engineers Week Robotics Competitions. The event, put on by The Citadel School of Engineering, is held annually to expose Lowcountry middle and high school students to the engineering design process in a fun and competitive environment. In the competitions, students pit their team-built Lego robots against each other in one of two head-to-head competitions. The first competition is a baseball game where the robots must be able to both run around bases and be able to 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 completely on their own. There were 16 robotics teams entered this year representing schools from Charleston, Mount Pleasant, and Moncks Corner with students ranging from 4th up to 10th grade. “Engineers Week gives us a chance to recognize the importance of continuing to educate the next generation of engineers, and the student competitions are 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 firsthand. It’s a real thrill to see the enthusiasm and excitement they bring to the competitions.”
The project study was presented in several forums. The work represents over 1,500 hours of service from 25 students in civil engineering who collaborated with College of Charleston, Environmental Studies, and nonprofit organization Charleston Moves. ASCE student members OC Jason Barker, Cadets Nathan Fultz, John Tousignant, Clay Frontz, Ben Schwenk, Chris Geary and Aaron Lee participated in the following professional events:
Bike Friendly Charleston Event: Keynote Speaker and Reception, September 7, 2011 – Students participated in a professional event highlighting national bicycling expert Mia Burke and including Mayor Joseph P. Riley.
Bike Friendly Charleston Event: Workshop Forum, September 8, 2011 – Students presented Battery 2 Beach Cost Benefit Study findings and lead small group discussions to help provide further direction for project development and implementation. This event was attended by 50 politicians, community leaders, engineers, and planners.
STEM Robotics Summer Camp, August 1-5, 2011
Dr. Mark McKinney directed a STEM summer camp in robotics for regional middle-school students from August 1-5, 2011. The camp was attended by 20 students from 4th to 7th grade and was co-taught by Dr. McKinney and David Bourque, a pre-engineering teacher at Laing Middle School. The theme of the camp was terraforming and the campers designed, built and programmed robots to autonomously accomplish simulated terraforming tasks.