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Each November, the Herff College of Engineering hosts a day-long event for middle and high school students to engage in lab tours/demonstrations, hear presentations on career opportunities, and compete in a variety of team-based engineering competitions hosted by each of the engineering departments.  Approximately 1,000 students participate each year. Competitions include:

  • Cardboard Beam Contest—Which team can develop the strongest cardboard beam as measured by the strength-to-weight ratio (SWR)?
  • Wind Power Contest—Which team can generate the most power by converting wind energy to electrical energy?
  • Bristlebots Contest—Which team can design and build a simple robot our of a bristled end from a toothbrush, a vibrating motor, and a battery that will a) best travel in a straight path or b) exhibit the highest towing power?
  • Programming Contest—Which team can complete the most programming problems in 1 hour?
  • Rocket Modeling Contest—Which team’s design will achieve the highest altitude?
  • Kicker Contest—Which team can design an ‘artificial leg’ that will kick a standard ping-pong ball into a target with the highest degree of accuracy?
  • Wall Contest—Which team can achieve the highest participant weight to duct tape mass ratio through a design that fully supports a team member to sit in a chair taped to a wall to be completely off the ground for a minimum of three minutes?
  • Boat Contest—Which team can design a boat that will cover 6 feet of water in a fixed container in the shortest amount of time? 
  • K’NEX Structure Contest—Which team can design a bridge with the best structural performance as measured by build time and structure mass?
  • Transportation Contest—Which team can design, build, and race a K-NEX constructed vehicle that will achieve the highest profits by delivering payload to designated destinations with the fewest stops for repairs and ‘fuel’?

209 Dunn Hall
The University of Memphis
Memphis, TN 38152
Phone: (901) 678-1303

Peter K. Bridson, Ph.D.
Phone: (901) 678-4423

Associate Director
Education & Non-Profit
Judith A. Faris, Ed.D.
Phone: (901) 678-4911

Associate Director
Corporate Partnerships:
Catherine Wilson, Ed.D.
Phone: (901) 678-3418

Administrative Associate:
Erica M. Boyce
Phone: (901) 678-1303

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Last Updated: 8/28/13