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Engineering Students Focus on Community During E-Week
A Rube Goldberg competition, a food drive, a talent show, a career fair, plus numerous community outreach events characterize the flavor of this year's E-Week at the UA.
University of Arizona Engineers Week, aka E-Week, is organized by the Engineering Student Council and will take place from Feb. 16-25.
In celebration of E-Week 2012, a weeklong series of competitive events run and organized by various engineering clubs, organizations and societies within the UA College of Engineering will take place on and around campus and throughout the Tucson community. The UA event runs in parallel with National Engineers Week.
These events are part of the college's dedication to ensuring a diverse and well-educated engineering workforce by increasing the awareness of engineering and technology careers among all university students.
Engineering student clubs will be awarded points based on their participation and performance in each event, including community service and the many activities scheduled. At the end of the week, the top three teams will be awarded prizes of $500, $300 and $200, which will go toward funding initiatives in outreach, professional development and increased membership.
"The competitions are a lot of fun, but our main focus this year is community outreach," said Jose Estrada, president of the Engineering Student Council. "We are urging clubs to get out into the community to demonstrate the benefits of an engineering education, and show how engineers improve society."
The more community outreach the clubs do, added Estrada, the more points they are awarded toward their final tally.
Events include a regional Rube Goldberg competition in which student teams will design an elaborate contraption to perform a simple task.
Rube Goldberg (1883-1970) was a Pulitzer-Prize-winning cartoonist, inventor and engineer whose comical inventions still influence popular culture. Movies such as "Delicatessen," "Back to the Future" and "Brazil" feature Rube Goldberg machines, and Goldberg's inventions also inspired games such as Mousetrap.
"E-Week is a chance for students to have some fun while learning about engineering," said Jeff Goldberg, dean of the UA College of Engineering.
He added that these student clubs show what engineers do on a daily basis and highlight the skills needed to study engineering.
"The bottom line is that if your goal is to help people live better lives, then engineering is the perfect educational path to achieve that goal," Goldberg said.
E-Week also includes i-Expo, an industry career fair featuring about 40 local and national engineering and technology companies, and recruiters from the armed forces.
They want to hire the best graduates in science, technology and engineering, and all UA students are encouraged to practice their elevator speeches and take their résumés.