Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) placed second at the Engineering Expo, a two-day event which K-12 students’ hands-on learning opportunities to ignite their interest in science and engineering. Engineering professors, student senators and industry professionals served as Expo judges.
“Where in the World,” the theme of this year’s Expo, was intended to show students the global nature of engineering. Kindergarten through high school students attended the Expo on February 19 while scholars and incoming students to the School of Engineering visited the next day. The KU Engineering Student Council organized the Expo.
“This was a great effort,” says Levi Lyons, president of KU-IEEE. “I think we added a number of new and exciting elements to the Expo.”
New EECS events were among crowd favorites. EECS students Jessica Scott, Jalashree Mehta and Philip Jennings creatively turned a classroom into a laser tag arena—complete with cardboard forts, castles and other hiding places. Laser tag was designed to show the transmission of microwave waves and how they can be applied to practical applications. Jake Hamilton, an EE junior, developed the Laser Balloon Pop for the Expo. He modified a flash light by taking out the light and adding a circuit board while using a Blu-Ray burner diode to create a laser with enough energy to pop balloons. He then demonstrated how dark color balloons soak up more light, making it easier for them to be popped by the laser. A steady supply of volunteers was needed to blow balloons to keep up with the demand.
New events also showed the engineering behind sound. Jennings showed how to find the frequencies of different sound waves. He played notes on a piano that would then be processed to instantly determine their frequencies. Jennings said anything to do with the design and testing of sound used Fourier's Analysis to find frequencies. John Jakabosky, an EE senior, produced sound by running a high frequency and high voltage current between two nails. Unfortunately, a faulty transformer cut Jakabosky’s presentation short.
In addition to new demonstrations, EECS brought back a few favorites. William Blake, a doctoral student in computer science, manned the popular Ultra Arcade Machine. Students flocked to video game where they learned about the computer science that went into developing it. Blake also prepared GeoWall for the Expo. GeoWall is a low cost, virtual reality visualization device. Students donned special glasses to see chemistry elements in eye popping 3D. Bryan Garrard, an EE junior, ran Geo Wall. Tom Ashe, an EE junior, runs the Telsa Coil. It produces a high voltage, low current, high frequency alternating current electricity. The resulting lightning is loud, which brought students to the table.
Lyons said between 25 and 30 EECS students volunteered for Expo. They put in countless hours developing new events and retooling favorites. EECS students who volunteered for Expo include Emily Delling, Audrey Seybert, Alex Iams, Masayuki Pak, Brett Hermann, Hilary Barbour, Faiz Ahmed, Brady Maasen, Adan Lau, Aric Beaver,Michael Chiang, Abder Elandaloussi, Hussain Alhai, Robert Wood, Billy Ling, Tyler Danaver, Bryan Townley,Bobby Peddireddy, Aaron Rankin, Matthew Hannan, Justin Robertson, Meghna Eluganti, Brett Carriger and Mikhail Zakharov.
To see pictures of the Expo, go to the EECS Facebook page.