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Berks celebrates history through National Engineers Week

In observation of National Engineers Week, February 14-20, 2010 Penn State Berks has a variety of events and activities planned. The college's roots are in the field of engineering. Wyomissing Polytechnic Institute (WPI), the forerunner of the college, began as a training center for workers of Textile Machine Works in Reading. WPI provided workers with a solid background in engineering, as well as other technical fields of study.

Feb. 17, 8:30 a.m, Goggle Works in Reading, Project Lead the Way Design Challenge.
Students from twenty high schools will form teams to design, build, test, and demonstrate a solution to the design challenge: building a functioning solar-panel vehicle in just a few hours, with a motor, wheels, axles, balsa wood, Styrofoam, various office supplies, and a solar cell.The projects will be administered by Penn State Berks engineering faculty and students. The challenge will be followed by an awards ceremony 1:30 p.m.

"This event gives PLTW students the chance to use the skills they have learned in their foundation courses to solve a real-life problem. Many schools concentrate on athletic competition; the PLTW Design Challenge gives academic students a chance for inter-scholastic competition," says Tom Weiss, affiliate director of Project Lead the Way at Penn State Berks.

Project Lead The Way is a national non-profit organization that works in partnership with public middle and high schools to implement a curriculum that emphasizes hands-on experiences in engineering, design, and technology. PTLW aims to attract an increasingly more diverse group of students to become the next generation of scientists, technology experts, engineers, and mathematicians and help America compete favorably in the global economy. For more information, please contact: Tom Weiss, Affiliate Director - Project Lead The Way, at tsw10@psu.edu.
Feb. 18, 12 noon-2:00 p.m., Perkins Student Center Multipurpose Room, National Engineers Week Luncheon for industry professionals, students, faculty, and staff. The luncheon will feature presentations by Khanjan Mehta, senior research associate at Penn State's College of Engineering; Rachel Dzombak, junior, Bioengineering major; and Bharath Ramaswamy, graduate student, Electrical Engineering. These three panelists will discuss social entrepreneurship and integrated engineering design. They will detail how students and faculty from various colleges across Penn State are collaborating on humanitarian engineering and social entrepreneurial ventures.

These ventures range from developments in technology-based solutions to the most compelling challenges facing the developing world and marginalized populations.

There will also be a discussion of ongoing technology ventures at Penn State that practice integrated engineering design and the eplum model of student engagement. The eplum model weaves strategic educational priorities including innovation, global awareness and engagement, multidisciplinary teamwork, and social entrepreneurship education into a number of courses and programs in the College of Engineering, as well as other colleges within the University.

This event is open to the public, and the cost is $10 cash or check payable at the door. Attendees must RSVP by contacting Jeffrey Wike at jww12@psu.edu or 610-396-6202 by Monday, February 15, 2010.
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