National Engineers Week events at Berks

During National Engineers Week, observed from Feb. 14 to 20, 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, Pa. WPI provided workers with a solid background in engineering, as well as other technical fields of study.

"Project Lead the Way"

At 8:30 a.m. on Feb. 17, Penn State Berks engineering faculty and students will administer the "Project Lead the Way" design challenge at the GoggleWorks in Reading, Pa. Students from 20 high schools will form teams to design, build, test and demonstrate a solution to the design challenge: building a functioning solar-powered vehicle in just a few hours with a motor, wheels, axles, balsa wood, Styrofoam, various office supplies and a solar cell. The challenge will be followed by an awards ceremony at 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," said 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.

Contact Weiss at for more information.

National Engineers Week luncheon

From noon to 2 p.m. on Feb. 18, there will be a National Engineers Week luncheon in the Perkins Student Center Multipurpose Room 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, a junior majoring in bioengineering; and Bharath Ramaswamy, a graduate student studying 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 also will 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, payable by cash or check at the door. Attendees must RSVP by contacting Jeffrey Wike at or 610-396-6202 by Feb. 8.

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Last Updated February 04, 2010