Two weeks ago, Lehigh University participated in ASCE’s Mid-Atlantic Region Student Conference hosted by Drexel University. One of the competitions Lehigh participated in was the Steel Bridge Competition. Since it was my first time going to the event, I was really excited to see what the competition was all about. (Throughout this semester, I helped in the construction of the bridge by cutting some of the angle-pieces, etc. and I was really excited to see where all my work was being used!) The build-team, which consisted of 5 students from Lehigh, ended up building the bridge in under 45 minutes, from which I understand is a big improvement from last year’s time.
working hard, working together!
Although the bridge passed the lateral test, it did not pass the vertical loading test. Our bridge deformed to an extent where the arches appeared to buckle under the weight added to it.
Before the bridge deformed
As I watched the bridge deform under the load, all that came to mind was Mech003, which I took instead of CEE3: Engineering Statics, and the stuff we learned about bridges, distributed loads, stress concentrations, plastic deformations, bending, etc. It was really cool seeing what I had learned in a class setting I was seeing in real life and how the concepts and equations applied to real structures. As finals begin next week for all Lehigh students, the deformation of our bridge will definitely help me remember some of the equations used in Mech3 as I now have visual aids to help me remember!
Our bridge deformed.
The countdown is on! As we begin our last week of classes, it’s finally hitting some of us that finals are right around the corner. As engineering students, the amount of 3-hour long finals that await us is daunting. Good thing that this weekend, Lehigh hosted some fun engineering activities for students (all were, of course, welcome to come regardless of their major!).
On Friday, SHPE (the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers) and NSBE (National Society of Black Engineers) hosted the 3rd Annual Egg Drop Challenge. This Egg Drop required participants to create a device that would cause an egg NOT to break as it was dropped from various heights. The catch to this egg-drop though was that no parachutes were allowed. With this restriction, we were all excited to see what designs each team would come up with. While some used only cotton balls, others opted for straws and newspapers. The two winning teams would be selected by 1) having their eggs survive the fall and 2) having used the least amount of supplies. The two lucky winners were rewarded gift cards as prizes. As a host and coordinator to the event, it was fun watching the creativity of the students as they put a lot of thought into their designs!
On Saturday, Tau Beta Pi and CREATE club hosted the 2nd Annual Engineering Day. This event consisted of 5 different engineering activities where teams were able to tap into different fields of engineering regardless (again) of their major! One of the activities was led by EWB where teams were required to build a canal of some sort using foil, straws, etc to transport water from a bucket at one end to a bucket at the other end using the least amount of supplies. Another activity put to use our knowledge of basic chemistry as we had to create a solution with a very acidic pH using common household supplies and food (ie, vinegar, oil, apple juice, etc). For this activity, we weren’t told what all supplies were, which is what added suspense to the activity. Were we adding an acidic liquid to our solution? Was the white powdered-stuff actually basic? My favorite activity out of all 5 was a rocket-pressure activity. Using soda bottles, we had to tape wings of some sort that would have our ‘rocket’ suspended in the air for a long time after using water to launch it.
All of the activities were very fun. We got to put our knowledge of engineering to use and even non-engineering stuff came in handy (ie the activity were we had to build an airplane using cardboard, paper, and thin sticks. My teammates decided to put to use elementary school knowledge as they opted for making a paper airplane instead!)
I can’t wait to participate again at next year’s Engineering! And a big congrats to the winners of this year’s Engineering Day: Coding For the Future !!
I can’t believe it’s been two weeks since Lehigh held it’s All-Day Activity for CHOICES. As a first time volunteer, I was really excited to see what the day event would be like and the turnout Lehigh would have. As soon as I walked into Iacocca Hall, I was amazed at the large amount of students that showed up to participate. The CHOICES girls were all middle-school female students and the volunteers consisted of SWE members as well as Lehigh faculty and staff. It was a full house in Iaccoca Hall as the girls immersed themselves in various hands-on engineering activities. The first activity they had was a fun ice-breaker with marshmallows and toothpicks. This was followed by balloon towers and then a presentation with Air Products on Liquid Nitrogen. The culminating event was an egg drop. This is the event I was able to go to after my classes were done. The girls were given some material (newspapers, cotton balls, balloons, tape, cups, etc) to build a design that would not cause an egg to break after falling from a certain height. They definitely worked hard on this event as the final designs stated creativity and careful thought were taken into account.
The egg drop competition itself was really egg-citing to watch. Although a good amount of eggs cracked, those that didn’t had very interesting designs to it!
Overall, it was a fun event and it made me look forward to the campus-wide Egg Drop I am currently planning with my organization (SHPE) as well as another organization (NSBE). I can’t wait to see what engineering designs students here at Lehigh come up with once the final designs are called in.