By Jorge Lopez
Noche de Ciencias, or night of sciences, is the wrap up of a week long celebration of engineers known as E-week.
Students along with their parents filled the foyer of the auditorium Friday evening as the engineering club held the event. Other events throughout the week included guest speaker Juan Jose, former president of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, the relocation of a sundial monument to the front of the technology building, drag racing, and even stand up comedy.
Most students attending the event Friday night were from local elementary and intermediate schools except for a few high school freshmen. “This is an outreach program, with a focus on informing parents and incoming classmen about the engineering and technology programs offered at the ELAC campus,” said club advisor Brian Vasquez.
Vasquez is a professor on campus and off campus at Esteban Torres High School, where he teaches a renewable energy class to freshmen for college credits. These events promote students to strive for STEM majors, where Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics are at the core of the curriculum.
Current president of SHPE, Luis Miramontes, stressed the fact that leadership and networking are major factors in engineering. “Professors have lots of contacts. Use them, talk to them, they are there to help you.” said Miramontes.
Students along with parents were encouraged to participate in the evenings activities, and were split into two teams, parents vs. students, just to make things more interesting. Training participants to think like engineers, both students and parents were given the task of creating a capsule and parachute that would allow the egg to be dropped from the maximum altitude of three stories, safely reaching the ground without breaking, while at the same time aiming for a bull’s eye target for points.
Participants were allowed only 20 minutes to design and build, using only materials provided by the Engineering Club. The egg was dropped from 10 to 45 feet off the side of the technology building stair case. Their objective was to create a design that was as “green” as possible. Eco-friendly students as well as parents received extra credit points. Miramontes said, “Activities like these bring parents and students together. They had fun and got really involved.”
All the students that attended Noche de Ciencias, were awarded certificates of achievement from the Engineering Club at the end of the activities. “The important part of E-week is to remember the past, acknowledge the present, and think about the future.” said Vasquez.