Build a tower out of spaghetti and gumdrops? Then travel inside a 1000-degree furnace unscathed? These are just some of the highlights of the Engineering Open House on Saturday, November 12, 2011, hosted by the Center for Innovation through Visualization and Simulation (CIVS) and the Departments of Engineering. One hundred and twenty high school seniors and family members attended this open house, which immediately followed the View Purdue Calumet event. It was a day full of information, hands-on activities, and opportunities to meet university officials, faculty members, and current students.
The Engineering Open House began in the Center for Innovation through Visualization Simulation (CIVS), 3D Immersive Theater with a welcome from Dr. Chenn Zhou, director of CIVS and Engineering Outreach, and the Interim Dean of the School of Engineering, Mathematics and Science, Dr. Michael Hanson. An inspiring speech was given by Ms. Kelly Dallas, a PUC alumna and an engineering liaison at ArcelorMittal. Mr. Bill Baginski, a freshmen advisor, then outlined the academic structure, numerous scholarships, and brilliant career outlook with a PUC engineering degree. The welcome session concluded with a presentation by Dr. Chenn Zhou, who gave an overview of Purdue Calumet Engineering Programs and an example of student research project at CIVS (see photos below).
The guests were then ushered to three engineering laboratories where the high school seniors, along with their parents, teamed up in a series of engineering challenges. Building the tallest tower using only uncooked spaghetti and spiced gumdrops in twenty minutes? It required careful planning, swift team work, and creativity – besides steady hands. Interestingly, each family exercised unique strategy and, in the end, the winning tower stood 69 inches! In addition to structural design, the students also learned how to measure distance with precision by using surveying equipment. Finally, they were shown the inner-workings of a robot, and then designed the control logic to command their assigned robots to move.
During the concluding session, Prof. Yeow Siow announced the 2012 Engineering Summer Program where students can earn two PUC credits upon completion of the three-week intensive day camp. The Open House ended with a splash when the guests were treated with a 3-D show featuring an inside look of a blast furnace based on an engineering simulation created by PUC students.
The Engineering Open House was a tremendous success, and was a result of seamless collaboration among admissions, engineering departments, and CIVS.