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by Valerie Kimble

SOCORRO – New Mexico Tech’s 5th annual Engineering Weekend Feb. 15 – 17 is packed with fun-filled and educational activities, from department presentations to tours of two of the university’s research facilities. The event is open to New Mexico high school students and their parents.

New Mexico Tech joins other colleges and universities nationwide in celebrating National Engineering Week during the second week of February.

“We’ve shortened Tech's Engineering Week into a weekend,” said Dr. Osman T. Inal, Professor of Materials Engineering, Dean of Engineering and the driving force behind the event.

Inal said all seven engineering departments on campus, plus Computer Science, participate by hosting show-and-tells and participating in weekend activities, including the popular Rube Goldberg contest.

Please contact engineering graduate student Graham Walsh to register for any of the events, except Sunday’s tours (575-835-5211; or gwalsh@nmt.edu).

The weekend opens with a buffet dinner at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Macey Center, followed by a star party at the Etscorn Campus Observatory hosted by Dan Klinglesmith.

Saturday’s activities begin with departmental show-and-tells from 9 a.m. to noon, in Fidel Center.

Young women engineering students are invited to a “Women in Engineering” forum and luncheon at Macey Center. Women faculty members Claudia Diaz-Wilson, Deidre Hirschfeld, Lorie Liebrock, and Snezna Rogelj will lead the forum with its “you can do it, too” theme. Inal said last year’s forum drew an entire class from Socorro High School.

The Rube Goldberg competition, from 1:30 – 3 p.m., is one of Engineering Weekend’s most popular events. Engineering Departments compete against each other to “over-engineer” a design project. The goal is to accomplish in many steps what could more easily have been done in fewer. High schools also are invited to compete in the event.

This year’s project is to build a hamburger with two slices of bread, beef, and two condiments.

Then get flexed for the Jock Olympics from 3 – 5 p.m. in the Gym; or challenge your brain at the Geek Olympics, a trivia contest about Tech, also from 3 – 5 p.m., in Workman 101.

On Sunday, Feb. 17, watch a live explosives demonstration at the Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center (EMRTC) from 1-5 p.m.; or ascend to over 10,000 ft. in elevation to tour Magdalena Ridge Observatory (MRO) from 2 – 6 p.m.

Since tour space is limited, participants should sign up in advance by contacting Valerie Kimble, 200 Brown Hall, 835-5227, or vkimble@admin.nmt.edu.

In addition, the Mineral Museum will host tours throughout the day.

A buffet dinner at Macey Center will close out the day, giving participants a chance to share their experiences.

“We are hoping for another good turnout this year,” said Inal, adding, “And I hope to get more of our engineering faculty involved as well.”

-- NMT --