Texas A&M University-Kingsville

High School Students drop eggs, fly paper airplanes and more at Annual A&M-Kingsville Engineering Day Feb. 23

KINGSVILLE - February 20, 2007

Contact: Jason Marton
jason.marton@tamuk.edu or 361-593-4143

KINGSVILLE (February 20, 2007) — How do you build a vessel that will protect an egg from a 16-foot drop? How much weight can a wooden bridge withstand?  The answers to these questions and many more will be discovered Friday, Feb. 23, at the annual Javelina Engineering Day, sponsored by Texas A&M University-Kingsville, the Frank H. Dotterweich College of Engineering, the Engineering Student Council and the engineering societies.

High school teams from across South Texas will meet in competition beginning at 9 a.m. in 11 different engineering competitions. The competitions are as follows:

9-11 a.m.:       Egg Drop, McNeil Engineering Lab Building
                        Staple Magnetizer, Javelina Engineering Complex, room 125

The American Society of Mechanical Engineers sponsors the egg drop competition, one
of the most popular events of the day. Student teams build a vessel they hope will protect an egg from a drop of approximately 16 feet. The container has to weigh less than 250 grams. Scoring is based on the accuracy of the target drop, the weight of the vessel and whether the egg is cracked, broken or undamaged. The lighter the weight, the higher the final score. There is also a “Hindenburg” prize – named after the famous dirigible that went up in flames in 1936 – awarded for the most spectacular failure. 

The staple magnetizer contest is sponsored by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers.  In this event, contestants build a piece of equipment that can pick up staples; the winner will be the team that picks up the most staples. 

10-11 a.m.:     Impromptu Design, Bishop Hall Cafeteria

The American Society of Mechanical Engineers sponsors the impromptu design
, in which students are given a kit and instructions on the day of the competition. 
Each team has one hour to complete the design competition. 

11 a.m-noon: Pinewood Derby, Dotterweich Engineering Building
                        Polymer Pull, Bishop Hall Cafeteria

The pinewood derby is sponsored by Pi Tau Sigma, the national mechanical engineering honor society. Students make a small car predominately of pinewood to certain height and weight regulations. The car, propelled only by gravity, is raced on a track against other pinewood entries. 

Also happening at 11 a.m. is the polymer pull, sponsored by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. In this event, students are given a piece of polymer to pull until it hardens. The team that pulls the material the longest is the winner.

Noon-1 p.m.: Kite Contest, Javelina Engineering Complex, front lawn
                     Breadboard Competition, Javelina Engineering Complex, room 125

The kite contest, sponsored by the Society of Women Engineers, offers two categories for large and small kites. They are judged on design and distance of flight. All kites have to be homemade. Kites professionally made or constructed from kite kits are disqualified.

The breadboard competition is sponsored by the Institute of Electronics Engineers. In it, a team has to come up with a proper solution to a design problem on paper. If the solution is reasonable and safe, they are issued materials to test their solution in the laboratory. 

1-2 p.m.:         Truss Bust-Balsa Wood Bridge Competition, Bishop Hall Cafeteria
                        Paper Airplane Contest, Bishop Hall Cafeteria

The truss bust-balsa wood bridge building competition is sponsored by the American Society of Civil Engineers. Using a balsa wood kit, students build a bridge that is tested for the amount of weight it can hold. Weight is added until the bridge fails. The winner will be chosen by an efficiency ratio based on the weight of the model and the load the bridge can withstand.

The Society of Manufacturing Engineers gives each team entering the paper airplane contest one 8 ½" by 11" sheet of paper, one paper clip and one six-inch piece of transparent tape. It is with these materials only that the teams have to construct a conventional looking aircraft. The finished products are judged based on the total time aloft and the greatest distance.

2-3 p.m.:         Mouse Trap, Bishop Hall Cafeteria

The mouse trap is sponsored by Pi Tau Sigma. In it, students build a car powered by a standard-size mouse trap attached to the chassis.  Awards are given to the three that travel the farthest across a flat surface. 

3-4 p.m.:         Scavenger Hunt, Engineering Courtyard

The Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers sponsors an engineering scavenger hunt, the final contest of the day. In groups of two or three, students answer questions from math and science books used in high school. No books or calculators are allowed. Each clue directs the teams to eight different stations on campus.

The day ends at 4 p.m. with the distribution of awards. For more information call 361-593-2000.

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