Maine Engineers week was celebrated this past month , the 2015 engineering expo held at USM the centerpiece. How fitting for this past Saturday to be Pi Day, 3.1415 – in scientific terms- the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. Celebrate Awesome; Celebrate: Curiosity – Innovation – Technology – Maine’s Future. The duel purpose of the week was to promote the work and contributions of current engineers + encourage the ideas and ambitions of future engineers. Founded by Maine Engineering Promotional Council, the event was showcasing Maine’s technology community /the STEM initiatives for the upcoming future engineers/ science enthusiasts. Several technology based companies attended; Idexx, General Dynaimics/BIW, Iberdrola. There was a strong showing by USM + UMO to hopefully capture the attention of a few engineering/scientist prospects.
The crowds of young techie want-to-be gathered around a variety of the exhibitors; many from UMO and USM ‘s engineering departments (Electrical, Civil, Composites, Physics, Mechanical, Chemical and Biological to name a few). Staff members were proudly adorning their brightly colored Pi Day tee shirts. The exhibits catered to a diverse age group but the target audience were the 10 to 15 years olds accompanied by their parents, promoting technology/science being hands on and fun. (show video of UMO booths) The exhibits that were interactive (construction Pic) drew on an appeal of visual and audio gadgetry and catered to the imaginations of its audiences.
I was startled by a loud gunshot sound, only to recognize this was a planned part of the engineering physics exhibit featuring a purple laser beam that was carried from a centerpiece carrying the current to wand that a student holding a conductive wand being waved about. The picture doesn’t do the presentation justice, it was about the audio (sizzling) and the visual (the beam of light dancing continuously in an erradic manner), people were mesmerized.
My highlight was discussing technology with Bill Davids, professor of Structural engineering/composites being a specialty . Bill gave me this quick 1 minute video on these specialized fabrics that will play a significant role in putting NASA on Mars. In the 1 minute video below, Bill describes how their newly formulated fabric acts as a parachute or batmitten bird in slowing the descend of the shuttle for re-entry into the atmosphere (Hypersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator Device for Spacecraft Re-Entry). http://bit.ly/UMONASAgismo
Programs like these are putting Maine on the map for national recognition as a technology hub, where our future generations can help put mankind on Mars here in Maine. Thanks and congrats to all those that participated in a very memorable Maine Technology Expo! Looking forward to next years’ event.