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By Doug Tattershall

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The open house is particularly geared toward middle school and high school students.  Visitors may participate in laboratory demonstrations and 18 contests, which include prizes for the winners from cash to t-shirts.

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Jan. 13, 2000 – (Lexington, Ky.) – Where do robots play checkers and eggs drop from 34 feet without breaking? At the University of Kentucky Engineers Day Open House, which will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 26, in the university’s engineering buildings.

The open house, sponsored by the UK College of Engineering, is particularly geared toward middle school and high school students. Visitors may participate in laboratory demonstrations and 18 contests. Some contests require advance registration, and all include prizes for the winners, from cash to gift certificates to t-shirts.

There also will be tours of the UK engineering facilities and exhibits and demonstrations by 25 engineering companies and the college’s research centers and academic departments.

Engineers Day is held annually in conjunction with National Engineers Week.

For more information, call Monica Mehanna at (606) 257-3341 or visit the Engineers Day Open House web site.


Events requiring advance registration

Dukes of Hazzard: Build a model car powered by carbon dioxide that will jump off a short ramp. To register, call Eric Hawkes at (606) 276-5562.

Egg drop: Design a container in which a raw egg can survive a 34-foot fall. A combination of lightest container and shortest travel time of those in which the egg does not break will determine the winner. To register, call Donn Hancher at (606) 257-4857.

Engineers Day Programming Challenge: Design and implement a solution to the game “Cutting the Corners,” where a computer plays against a human opponent. The deadline for entering is Feb. 18. To register, call Jurek Jaromczyk at (606) 257-1186.

Newspaper bridge: Construct a bridge using 10 newspapers and tape. The bridge that supports a Lexington phone book wins. To register, call Brian Aldridge at (606) 257-4349.

Popsicle stick bridge: Build a model bridge of Popsicle sticks and glue. The strongest bridge wins. To register, call Isaam Harik at (606) 257-3116.

Pringle mailing: Mail one original flavor Pringle potato chip without it breaking. Packages will be opened on Engineers Day, and the lightest package received with an unbroken chip wins. Packages must be mailed by the U.S. Postal Service to KSPE President, University of Kentucky Department of Civil Engineering, 216 Raymond Building, Lexington, KY 40506-0281.

Radio control car design: Make an attachment for a radio-controlled car that can retrieve a light bulb from the end of a winding maze. The fastest car to retrieve the light bulb wins. To register, call O.J. Hahn at (606) 257-5862.

Rube Goldberg design: Build a device that flips on a light switch using provided specifications. The most creative and complicated device wins. To register, contact Jason Cheatham at

Volcano: Build a volcano using such materials as paper mache, clay and cardboard that spews lava of vinegar, baking soda and cornstarch. The volcano that spews lava closest to 18 inches from the outer edge of its base wins. To register, call Mike Hanel at (606) 252-4340 or Tony Lucas at (606) 278-2093.

Events not requiring advance registration

Artificial leg manipulation: Maneuver a simulated leg on a computer into a number of positions. The contestant who holds the leg in the positions with the fewest errors wins.

Barge loading: Use a four-by-four-inch piece of aluminum foil to build a barge that will float while carrying pennies. The barge that can carry the most pennies wins.

Drop zone: Build a slow-falling device of paper, paper clips, staples, dental floss and clear adhesive tape that will hit a five-foot round target when dropped from 30 feet. The device that hits the target and has the longest falling time wins.

Edible car: Build a car of edible foods that will roll down an incline. The car that travels farthest wins (in case of a tie, the car judged to be best-tasting wins).

Erector set: Assemble a structure using provided instructions and materials. The fastest-built set wins.

Index card bridge: Build a bridge that can hold at least two-and-a-half bricks using paper clips, tape, scissors and as few index cards as possible. A combination of the number of bricks and index cards will determine the winner.

Model crane: Build a crane of provided drinking straws, tape and thread that supports an off-center load of 100 grams. A combination of the crane’s height and the distance from the base to the 100-gram weight will determine the winner.

Paper airplane: Make a paper airplane from 8-by-11-inch paper. The plane that flies the farthest wins.

Tower building: Build a tower out of index cards. The tower that supports the most weight wins.

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