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Syracuse University’s L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science hosts Community Open House and NASA Day June 1
Syracuse University’s L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science hosts Community Open House and NASA Day June 1May 24, 2002Jonathan Hayjhay@syr.edu
Syracuse University’s L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science (ECS) will host the ECS Community Open House and NASA Day on June 1.
The event will feature a Rocket Team Challenge and a Lego Mindstorm Robotic Competition for local high school students and a CO2 Dragsters’ competition for middle school students. The main campus event will last from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Parking will be available for the event at the University Place lot and the public is encouraged to attend.
“With financial support from Lockheed Martin, the college has distributed engineering design projects to Central New York schools,” says Peter Plumley, assistant dean of ECS. “During the Open House, student teams will test their robots, rockets and cars against other school teams. The process of building these models and competing at this level will enrich their respective middle and high school educations, and the experience of working on a team will stick with them for life.”
The Rocket Team Challenge will take place at SU’s South Campus at 3 p.m. Local high schools have received materials and training to build a three-pound rocket. Each rocket will hold an electronic altimeter and a raw egg, and will be designed to reach as close as possible to a target altitude of 1,000 feet. The teams will be judged on the aesthetics of the rocket, a student presentation that incorporates relevant technical knowledge, a successful flight and successful payload recovery. College faculty and engineers from local industry will judge and award the winning teams.
“These rockets are serious business–with trajectory recording hardware in the payload section, students will be able to match their rocket design and simulation to the actual flight dynamics. Let’s refer to these kids as rocket scientists,” Plumley says.
The Lego Mindstorm Robotic Competition will give students the chance to build a programmable robot to compete against other teams. Each participating team has received a Lego Mindstorm kit. ECS will host workshops to teach teams how to build and program the robot to navigate an obstacle course, sense by touch and make decisions and play tag with other robots. Teams will compete during the open house on a pre-determined course. ECS’ computer science faculty in and engineers from local companies will judge and award the winning teams.
The CO2 Dragsters competition will give middle school students the opportunity to design, build and race a CO2-propelled dragster car. Each team of middle school students has received a “Dragster Kit” with materials to build their car. The car will compete against all others on a 60-foot track during the open house. The Dragster car contest is single elimination, with a pair of cars competing in each round.
A tour of the College’s learning labs and research facilities will be available during the Open House. A special focus of the tour will be given to the new Environmental Quality Systems facilities. ECS faculty and staff will also provide information on undergraduate programs of study and careers in engineering and computer science.
“For many participating students, the Open House will be the first time they will have jointly experienced the thrill of robotics and rocketry with numerical analysis,” Plumley says. “I expect these students to return to their schools with new enlighten views on careers in engineering and computer science. And I predict they will succeed beyond their dreams”