NM Tech Hosts Engineering Weekend and Research at Tech Day, Feb. 10, 2006

by George Zamora

SOCORRO, Feb. 10, 2006 — New Mexico Tech is scheduled to host two big campus-wide events this coming Presidents’ Day weekend, which are designed to increase public awareness and appreciation of engineering professions and encourage pre-college interest in science and technology among elementary, middle school and high school students.

“Engineering Weekend” at New Mexico Tech begins at 7 p.m. on Thursday, February 16, with a special presentation for young women, titled “You can be a Woman Engineer,” at the university’s Macey Center. The evening seminar will feature a roundtable discussion with women faculty and engineers, as well as fun and challenging activities sponsored by the student chapter of the Society of Woman Engineers.

On Friday, February 17, beginning at 6:30 p.m., a get-acquainted dinner for all Engineering Weekend participants also will be held at Macey Center. The dinner will be followed by a “Star Party” at the university’s Etscorn Campus Observatory, located west of the New Mexico Tech Golf Course.

On Saturday and Sunday, February 18-19, engineering faculty and students at New Mexico Tech will host departmental open houses, contests, campus tours, and live demonstrations — including drop-in photo sessions with a T. rex skull in the Tech Mineral Museum — for the professional engineers and students attending Engineering Weekend.

A “Rube Goldberg Contest,” a popular competition at past Engineering Weekends, will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, February 18, in Macey Center. Contest rules stipulate that competing teams design and bring an “over-engineered” invention to the afternoon competition, in which the complex machines are required to use 20 or more steps in order to shred five pieces of paper.

“Geek Olympics” and “Jock Olympics” also will be held on Saturday afternoon in conjunction with Engineering Weekend, beginning at 3 p.m. in Workman Center, room 101/102, for the “geeks,” and at the same time in the Tech Gymnasium for the “jocks.” Olympic competitors from the elementary school level on up will be challenged in design competitions, trivia contests, dodge ball matches, and other athletic and academic competitions.

Engineering Weekend wraps up on Sunday, February 19, with morning tours of New Mexico Tech research facilities and the university’s Mineral Museum, as well as a tour of the Very Large Array (VLA) radio telescope. Later Sunday afternoon, a live explosives demonstration will be conducted by the trained personnel of the university’s Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center (EMRTC).

Reservations for any of the tours and events associated with Engineering Weekend at New Mexico Tech can be made free of charge by calling 505.835.5525.

On Presidents’ Day, Monday, February 20, prospective New Mexico Tech students and their families will be treated throughout the day to informational sessions and tours of several Tech campus research facilities during “Research @ Tech Day.”

For more information about Research @ Tech Day, call 505.835.5424.