Campus News

UK Celebrates Engineers Day Feb. 26

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 21, 2011) - Spaghetti gumdrop towers, edible cars and Popsicle stick bridges sound like something straight out of a fairy tale, but they're not. They're actual projects you can see for yourself at the annual University of Kentucky Engineers Day Open House, also known as E-Day. Hosted by the UK College of Engineering, the popular event features contests, displays and demonstrations for students of all ages that will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 26 in the Engineering Complex at UK.
The event also will be held at UK's engineering campus at Western Kentucky Community and Technical College's Crounse Hall in Paducah from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (CST).
E-day is a celebration of everything engineering has to offer. From building bridges to discovering new medications to writing the software that powers cell phones engineers and computer scientists do the things that make the 21st-century world work.
The event typically draws thousands of children and their parents to UK's campus, encouraging girls and boys in elementary, middle and high school to consider pursuing degrees in engineering. The day will provide many opportunities for students including hands-on events, laboratory tours and door prizes.

For high school students interested in attending the UK College of Engineering, a drawing for a $4,000 scholarship will be held as well.
"E-Day at UK is a long-standing tradition," said College of Engineering dean Tom Lester. "It is an opportunity to showcase some of the impressive research in which our faculty and staff are involved, the facilities in which this research and classroom learning happens, the social and professional organizations that are available to our students, and the industry partners who support engineering.  Most of all, it is a great chance to demonstrate the opportunities engineering and computer science can offer to children and their parents through fun, hands-on activities."
More than 20 different student groups at the College of Engineering organize and oversee contests of various forms, including the edible car contest (yes, a car made out of food items), and the egg drop contest, where students design a container holding an egg that will prevent it from breaking after a drop from a height of several stories. One of the most popular contests from the past few years has been the Rube Goldberg contest, which requires teams or individuals to construct a complicated device out of at least 20 basic machines to perform a simple task. This year's task will be to construct something that can water a plant. This is one of the few events that requires pre-registration, so if interested, please register at For a full list of contests and the schedule of events, visit

UPDATE: Due to illness, the scheduled E-Day speaker, John Lienhard, will not be able to travel to Kentucky for the Friday, Feb. 25 speaking engagement.  The speaking engagement, as well as the lunch, has been CANCELLED.

E-Day also will feature displays by area engineering firms and firms with sizable engineering departments. A full list of exhibitors can be seen at
Engineers Day comes at the end of Engineers Week, an annual event sponsored by a coalition of more than 100 professional societies, major corporations and government agencies dedicated to promoting math and science literacy and ensuring a diverse and well-educated future engineering workforce.
For more information about UK Engineers Day 2011, visit For parking directions, visit

(These are selected contests and their judging times.  The other contests are walk-ups and are judged throughout E-day.)
9:30 a.m. - Pringles Opening
9:30 a.m. - SWE Bowl
10:30 a.m. - Volcano Contest
11:00 a.m. - Egg Drop
11:30 a.m. -  Popsicle Stick Bridge
12:00 p.m. -  Rube Goldberg
12:30 p.m. - Robocode  Final Battle

A program can be downloaded by clicking here. 

MEDIA CONTACT: Jenny Wells, (859) 257-1754 ext. 254;