Arduino programming, nano blimps mark Feb. 23-27 E-Week schedule

A fall semester E-Day, which included this Rubik's Cube station, provided a small preview of the spring semester E-Week. (Heidi Hall/Vanderbilt University)

Engineering students at Vanderbilt University are showcasing their ingenuity through a series of fun and challenging competitions and events during Vanderbilt Engineers Week, going on now.

In addition to spotlighting the engineering profession, the competitions and activities are designed to interest students in engineering and scientific fields.

All activities will be held in the Featheringill Hall Atrium, and media and the public are invited. E-Week highlights include:

Arduino Demonstration: Arduinos are ready-made, credit-card-sized circuit boards with input and output connections. Students will write code and produce small machines quickly – light sensors, battery testers, virtual dice, mini-robots, etc. 6-7 p.m. Monday.

Mousetrap Car Construction: Students will use mousetraps as the car bodies and a variety of other objects for wheels, axels, seats, etc. 3-5 p.m. Tuesday.

Nano Blimp Competition:  Helium balloons provide the bodies, and students will build tiny, motorized propellers plus attach tacks for aerial dogfights. 12:15-3 p.m. Wednesday.

Egg Drop Competition:  Engineering students will devise containers that safely cushion their egg cargo for a three-story plunge. Noon – 2 p.m. Thursday.

Rube Goldberg Machine Building: Students will devise complicated machines to do simple tasks. 5:30-7 p.m. Thursday.

Vanderbilt Engineers Week coincides with National Engineers Week, Feb. 22-28, which was first established in 1951 by the National Society of Professional Engineers. It is traditionally held near Presidents Day because George Washington was a military engineer and a land surveyor.

Events were originally scheduled for last week, but a severe ice storm that canceled classes Monday and Tuesday prompted a postponement.

Meter parking is available on 24th Ave., near Featheringill Hall and across from University Club. Paid parking is available in the staff garage at 25th and Highland avenues. Use a university map to plan your visit here.


Monday, Feb. 23

11 a.m.-1 p.m. E-Week launch party
4-5:30 p.m. Girls in Computer Science workshop
6-7 p.m. Demonstration of programming Arduinos

Tuesday, Feb. 24

3-5 p.m. Constructing cars using mousetraps as the bodies

Wednesday, Feb. 25

12:15-3 p.m. T-shirt giveaway and nano blimps
6-7:30 p.m. Engineering trivia game

Thursday, Feb. 26

Noon-2 p.m. Egg drop using packaging/parachutes to stop breakage
5:30-7 p.m. Rube Goldberg machine building

Friday, Feb. 27

11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Faculty Appreciation Luncheon

Sponsoring organizations: School of Engineering Council, Engineering World Health, Design For America, IEEE, American Society of Mechanical Engineering, American Society of Civil Engineering, VandyApps, Tau Beta Pi, Biomedical Engineering Society, Chi Epsilon, American Institute of Chemical Engineering, V^2 Mentoring, Theta Tau, Society of Hispanic Engineers, Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers, National Society of Black Engineers


Heidi Hall, (615) 322-6614
On Twitter @VUEngineering