Berks celebrates history through National Engineers Week

In observation of National Engineers Week, Feb. 17?23, 2013, Penn State Berks, the premier engineering college in Berks County, has a variety of events and activities planned. The college recently added a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering to its engineering programs, which include a B.S. in Electro-Mechanical Engineering Technology and an associate degree in Electrical Engineering Technology. Penn State Berks is the only college in Berks County to offer degree programs in engineering, and all programs are taught in the college?s new state-of-the-art Gaige Technology and Business Innovation Building.

Building on its roots in the field of engineering, Wyomissing Polytechnic Institute (WPI) was the forerunner of institution of Penn State Berks. WPI began as a training center for workers of Textile Machine Works in Reading and provided workers with a solid background in engineering, as well as other technical fields of study. Many leaders of local industry are graduates of WPI.

The following is a schedule of events for Engineers Week at Penn State Berks.

Monday, Feb. 18, 12:00?2:00 p.m., Perkins Student Center Lions Den

Engineering Student Open Forum Panel Discussion

The panel discussion will provide open dialog between engineers from local companies and students. Topics such as career paths will be discussed and lunch will be provided. The panelists include Lisa Peterson, Brentwood Industries; Steve Rich, a former SAE Baja club member, and others. For more information or to register, contact Jeff Wike, Electrical Laboratory Supervisor, at 610-396-6202.

Tuesday, Feb. 19, 8:30 a.m., GoggleWorks in Reading, and Wednesday, Feb. 21, 8:30 a.m., Forest City High School, Forest City, PA

Project Lead the Way Design Challenge

Students from high schools and middle schools across the state will gather at the GoggleWorks in Reading on Feb. 19, and at Forest City High School, located in Forest City, on Feb. 21. The challenge is open to all Pennsylvania PLTW middle and high school students enrolled in PLTW courses. An awards ceremony will follow.

"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," explains 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.

For additional information, contact Tom Weiss, PLTW PA Affiliate Director at Penn State Berks, via e-mail at [email protected] or visit the PLTW PA web site.

Tuesday, Feb. 19, 12:00?1:30 p.m., Perkins Student Center Lion?s Den

Celebrating Women In Engineering Luncheon

The fourth annual Celebrating Women in Engineering Luncheon is sponsored by the Society of Women Engineers student chapter. Female high school students from Wilson and Berks Catholic, as well as all Penn State Berks engineering students and faculty, are invited to attend.

Wednesday, Feb. 20, 1:00 p.m., Room 5, Luerssen Building

Keynote Speaker Thomas J. Perry, P.E., ?Improving Engineering Student Engagement In Industry?

Thomas Perry is the Director of Education for the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), where he is responsible for the organization?s worldwide activities in undergraduate degree program accreditation and curriculum advancement; ME/MET department leadership development via leadership summits and workshops; ASME EdResearch projects in mechanical engineering and engineering technology education; and ME education workforce development programs in pre-college education curriculum and teacher development.

Wednesday, Feb. 20, 11:00 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., Room 106, Gaige Technology and Business Innovation Building

Lecture on Lean Manufacturing by Ron Tomasello, Instructor in Industrial Engineering Technology, Penn State Berks.

Thursday, Feb. 21, 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

Berks Catholic and Wilson Middle School students interested in engineering will visit Penn State Berks to learn more about the college?s engineering technology programs and careers in the field. Students will also participate in various activities and take a tour of the campus.

Friday, Feb. 22, 1:00 p.m., Gaige Technology and Business Innovation Building Lobby

Spaghetti Bridge-Building Competition

Students will present their team?s entry in the spaghetti bridge-building strength competition, which is open to students of the college and Berks Catholic and Wilson high school students. The objective is to build a bridge from spaghetti capable of supporting the largest possible load. The contest will be judged by engineers from three local industries: Brentwood Industries, Reading Bakery, and Precision Medical.

For more information about the Engineers Week events, contact Jeff Wike, Supervisor of Engineering Labs, at 610-396-6202.