WALLA WALLA, Washington – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (Corps) Walla Walla District will sponsor the 'Generating Power for the Future' engineering competitions at Walla Walla High School, DeSales High School, College Place High School, and Pendleton High School to celebrate National Engineers Week (EWeek) February 19-27.
The engineering competitions are part of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) conferences. Corps engineers and support staff will serve as advisorrs, judges, and speakers at the STEM competitions.
This year more than 400 local high school students from Walla Walla high schools, DeSales High School, College Place High School, and Pendleton High School will work in teams of four to build small generators and compete to see who can produce the most voltage.
Students will all receive training and mentorship in small groups before the competition to learn about the mission of the Corps in the Walla Walla District, the importance of STEM, and the basics of magnetic induction. Walla Walla District is providing 21 classes throughout the local high schools prior to the E-Week competitions so the students get the mentoring that they will need to shine.
"Engineer Week is the perfect opportunity for us to reach out to young people in the community and show them how exciting STEM career fields can be. We really enjoy interacting with the local students in these competitions and emphasizing how important STEM work is for the future of the Nation," said Capt. Brent Vance, U.S. Army Corps, STEM coordinator.
The Walla Walla District will provide students with magnets, insulated wire, wood base, cardboard, steel tie wire, and nails. They are also allowed to use tools, tapes, glues, and adhesives. The generators will be judged on maximum sustainable voltage produced from spinning the rotor at up to 1500 rpm using a drill. There will be nine separate smaller competitions held over four days with winners selected from each competition, then an overall winning team.
“Most years we host competitions that work with structural or mechanical problems. This year the students are learning about electricity and magnetic induction. They will be building functioning generators! The concepts the students are applying to their projects are new to a lot of them, so they really have to experiment and learn to be competitive this year,” Capt. Vance explained.
The competition and STEM Conferences encourage students to problem-solve, use ingenuity, be creative, and rely on each other as a team to build their
towers generators objectively and conceptually.
The design competitions will be held at: College Place High School on February 22, at 9:20 a.m., Pendleton High School on February 21 at 12:45 am, DeSales Catholic High School on February 19 at 8:15 a.m., and Walla Walla High School on February 27, at 7:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
The Corps of Engineers’ mission is dedicated to serving the Nation. EWeek is one of many opportunities that the Corps takes to give back to the community and its’ future. We respond to the President’s call to action for federal scientists and engineers to volunteer in local communities and think of creative ways to engage students in STEM subjects; maintaining America’s historical preeminence in the STEM fields is important to our future. For more information about National Engineers Week, go online to www.discovere.org. To learn more about the Corps of Engineers and its mission in the Walla Walla District, go to www.nww.usace.army.mil.