Young engineers competition draws crowd

K-12 students from schools around the Portland Metro area came to demonstrate their innovative designs and have them judged, last Friday in the Annual Design Competition, held at PSU. The competition was sponsored by The College of Engineering and Computer Science (CECS).

Activities included the design of electric motors, mouse-trap powered car and truss bridges. The event also included an “Egg Drop,” “Airplane Design” and “Edible Car” competition. The venue for the competitions was Peter Stott Center and Science Building Two.

Novella Comes, a parent whose daughter was participating in mousetrap powered car design event, said, “This is a wonderful opportunity for my kids to have fun and learn more about science. I shall definitely bring my kids again for such contests.”

Cathleen Davidson, executive assistant at CECS, who oversaw the event, said this was part of the “National Engineering week,” held throughout the United States, annually. The objective of the week is to inform the public about the usefulness of engineering to the community.

“This event has received a very high response from students,” Davidson said.

A host of volunteers ensured the event ran smoothly. The volunteers comprised of staff members and students from PSU.

“This tournament will serve as a great chance for students to learn about engineering and its possibilities,” Jeremy Harris, a student volunteer, said.

“By participating here, students will understand that engineering can be interesting,” Richard Deyoung, another student volunteer, associated with International Electrical and Electronic Engineers said. He handled the electric motor design section.

Deyoung also stressed his intention to promote the concept of “volunteering” for such events among the staff and students.

The first prize for every event was a calculator. Other prizes (depending on the contest) comprised of gift coupons and gift certificates to be used to purchase goods at stores like Radio Shack for a discount.

“This event is growing bigger and bigger every year. The kids love these kinds of constructive events. Similar ones are on their way,” Carrie Carlascio, assistant to the athletic director, said.