• Podcast
  • Feb 14 2017

E-Day Open House Offers Hands-on Engineering

Engineers Day, better known as E-Day, is February 25, 2017, from 9 am to 1 pm. This open house showcases the diversity of research in the UK College of Engineering. The event, sponsored by Lexmark, offers interactive displays for school-age children in six buildings across campus.  

Chelsea Hansing, E-Day coordinator says, “The event targets Kindergarten through 12th-grade students with interactive and dynamic exhibits. Our goal is to show kids what kinds of things engineers do, who engineers are, what engineers look like—they might be women, they might be minorities, they might be men.”  

Perennial event favorites are back this year, like the egg drop crash survivability challenge (where students submit their designs for a container that will protect an egg from a three-story drop) and the volcano challenge (where students design a volcano so that the lava will flow 18 inches from the outer edge of the volcano base). Students must preregister for these events, see more on the exhibits list (pdf). Most exhibits allow students to walk up and participate and take no more than 5 to 10 minutes.  

Listen to the podcast to learn more, see photos from past E-Days on Facebook, visit the E-Day website at engr.uky.edu/eday or search “University of Kentucky e-day” to download the mobile app. 

E-Day Open House Offers Hands-on Engineering - Podcast Transcript

Have you ever wondered who was doing the research that will impact your future? The research podcast lets you met those people, and learn how the University of Kentucky is exploring and strengthening our understanding of the world through research and discovery. 

Here's Alicia Gregory, director of Research Communications. 

Alicia: Engineers Day, or E-Day, is February 25th. We talked to Chelsea Hansing, this years’ E-Day coordinator to learn more about the event.

Chelsea Hansing:  So, E-Day is an open house for the College of Engineering. Completely open to the public, and we sort of target kids- school aged children; Kindergarten through 12th grade. And there are different kinds of interactive and dynamic exhibits; some hands on stuff, some contests, that are geared for each of those age groups. So, from Kindergarteners all the way up through high school, there should be something that would interest any student. Even if they're not necessarily in mind for engineer or computer science. There are some exhibits that are sort of geared toward everyday engineering, and then some that are more specific to the different disciplines within Engineering/Computer Science. But our goal is just to show kids what kinds of things engineers do, who engineers are, what we look like... They might be women, they might be minorities, they might be men. So, it's just to show kids everything they should know about engineering. Give them a sample. 

Alicia: So, what will visitors experience at E-Day? 

Chelsea Hansing: We're there from 9 am to 1 pm, but people can come at any point during that time. I recommend coming early because there is so much to do, even if you stay the entire time, you might not make it through to every exhibit. But, basically, when you arrive, there will be a check-in desk where you can get a printed program, which has our map of our facilities, and some other information about what's going on, and an empty bag to carry around, in case you want to pick up give away items from some of the exhibitors. And, then you just are free to roam around at your own pace, on your own schedule, and see any of the dynamic and interactive exhibits that we have to offer. Some of them are hands on, some of them are contests where you can win a prize. Most of the contests are just walk-up. You don't have to pre-register, you don't have anything prepared. A few of them you have to register in advance and prepare something before you come. All that's available on our website. But most things, you can just walk up and do. And they're probably five to ten minutes, and then you're off to the next one. 

One good thing is we have a mobile app, which is free. It's a free download on both Android and Apple devices. And, it can help you, if you want to download that ahead of time, to plan which exhibits you want to see, and you can actually build your own schedule on there. 

Alicia: That's pretty cool. That's helpful. Because it is a very large event. It goes through many buildings. 

Chelsea Hansing: We go through six buildings, so it's huge. And, on most of the buildings, there are 3 floors worth of exhibits or more. 

Alicia: Tell me a little bit about where people can park, and where they check in. 

Chelsea Hansing:  So, we recommend one of two parking lots. Either the parking structure number 5, which is the large garage next to Kennedy Bookstore off of Limestone St. That will be open for free parking. And, then you can take the pedway over to the main campus, and come inside the front doors of any of the engineering buildings, and we'll have a check in table at the entrance of all the buildings. Or, they can park over on the surface lot in front of the Davis Marksbury building, and that's pretty much the corner of Rose Street and Maxwell. There's a surface lot there that will be available for parking, and you can start in the Davis Marksbury building then, and then take the shuttle that we have consistently all day- probably every 20 minutes, or however long it takes them to do the loop - and ride the shuttle over to the main engineering buildings. And, then when you're finished looking at those, just ride the shuttle back and grab your car. 

Alicia: Excellent. So, tell me what have been in the past, and what you anticipate might be the most popular exhibits. I know the egg drop, historically, has been a big draw. 

Chelsea Hansing: Yes. The egg drop/crush survivability contest is always huge. Absolutely. It's pretty exciting to watch all the kids gather around literally three floors of balconies to watch them drop these vehicles to see if the egg survives. That's definitely huge. Also, we have a pretty good turnout for our volcano contest. Lot of people like building the volcano and then bringing it in. So, that's huge. Any time we have a 3-D printer, that's always a huge draw. And, then of course, some of our outside exhibitors. Lexmark, who's our sponsor, they always have a huge exhibit, like a multi-level exhibit with a bunch of different exhibits within their exhibit. We've got robots. We've got lots of Legos. I think there's just gonna be a lot of exciting stuff. Belcan is bringing an actual helicopter rotor. Newton's attic is bringing a human gyro trainer. I think it's that thing that you can actually get in, and then- 

Alicia: It spins. 

Chelsea Hansing: -rotate. Yeah. I won't be doing that. But it sounds cool, and I'm going to enjoy watching it. There's some really cool stuff this year. All of the exhibits are listed on our mobile app, and also on our website. 

Alicia: Visit the E-Day website at engr.uky.edu/eday or search “University of Kentucky e-day” to download the mobile app.

Thank you for listening to the Research Podcast. To subscribe to our podcasts on Soundcloud or iTunes, search University of Kentucky Research media and visit our site; reveal.uky.edu.