A mini robot car may be zipping past you Wednesday, while walking through the Court of Sciences on the way to class.
Racing robot cars will be part of this year’s Engineers’ Week, or E-Week. The event is meant to help students see the projects that engineering clubs have worked on and join the ones they want to get involved in, said Meet Bhagdev, the president of the Engineering Society of UCLA and a third-year computer science student.
Almost all the events will take place next week on campus, and the majority will be at the Court of Sciences.
The Engineering Society of UCLA is the oldest engineering club at the university. The group annually hosts the Engineers’ Week in collaboration with other engineering clubs on campus, Bhagdev said.
Bhagdev said the club took at least a quarter to prepare for E-Week, which cost the group about $3,500. Of the total budget, external sponsors gave about $2,000 and the group obtained about $350 from the Undergraduate Students Association Council.
On the first two days of the week, the club plans to experiment with events that were newly implemented this year, such as an egg drop competition off the roof of Boelter Hall and an airplane-building contest in collaboration with the UCLA chapter of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
Participants will also get a chance to network with professors from each engineering department by dining with them at the Sproul Palisades on Tuesday.
The UCLA student chapter of American Society of Civil Engineers and the Engineering Society at UCLA also plan to host concrete bowling, where both the pins and the balls involved in the game are made of concrete.
On Wednesday, the club will hold an engineering showcase, which allows engineering clubs and to present their current projects with relatively less campus restrictions. Bhagdev said that individuals and clubs have brought their own works of racing cars, canoes and a mini earthquake model in past showcases.
Corie Louie, a fifth-year electrical engineering student, has participated in every E-Week since her freshman year and joined the Engineering Society of UCLA last year as the secretary.
“A project that really stood out to me was a canoe built by American Society of Civil Engineers,” Louie said. “It was really interesting to see different majors’ projects.”
The UCLA branch for the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers also plans to demonstrate their works of NATCAR and MicroMouse built by undergraduates during the showcase. NATCAR and MicroMouse robots are both small autonomous robots that race on a tape track with a current flowing underneath it and a maze, respectively.
William Goodin, the faculty advisor for the Engineering Society of UCLA, said he remembers one student who built a highly successful MicroMouse and moved on to compete with teams from China and Japan.
On Thursday, E-Week will present scientific showcases and experiments to children from the elementary school in the community.
For the finale of the week, the Engineering Society of UCLA will host a talent show in the Kerckhoff Grand Salon, on Friday. The performance will feature engineering students, among others, who can win a first-place prize of $200 and a Microsoft Surface tablet.
Goodin is one of the judges for the talent show, and said he has seen unusual talents from engineers, such as playing three yo-yos simultaneously or riding a unicycle.
Signups and deadlines for contest and talent show registrations are available through the Engineering Society of UCLA’s Facebook page, and most events held at the Court of Sciences will accept walk-ins.