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Knights Go Traveling

posted Nov 27, 2011, 5:45 PM by Golden Knight   [ updated Nov 27, 2011, 5:48 PM ]
Posted in Campus

By Christian Francisco


On the weekend of November 3-6, 2011, three students: Nick Lopez, Davin Lee, and myself (Christian Francisco), participated in the annual VIEW (Visit Into Engineering Weekend) Program held by Pennsylvania State University. It brought students from around the country including Oklahoma, Florida, New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Illinois, and many more. This program, not only gave insight into the world of engineering for perspective students, but also gave us a glimpse into college life.

The majority of the weekend, of course, consisted of engineering. There is so much diversity in engineering such as: aerospace, chemical, mechanical, civil, petroleum, architectural, etc. Penn State allowed students to view every possible major. For example, the glass testing lab intercedes with architectural engineering where the importance of a thicker glass as opposed to a thinner glass in certain conditions is unveiled. The FAME Lab was then shown to give a feel of a typical industrial engineering environment. Industrial engineers innovate machinery to increase production making them a unique facet of an already fascinating field.

This weekend was defined by the ultimate task of creating a solution to a grueling engineering problem in order to win the Rube Gouldberg Competition. It would be fairly difficult to bring students and have them only see the campus and typical life of an engineering student; it was important to have fun at some point. Teams were divided and required to build a Rube Gouldberg Machine within the span of only several hours. Teams of the participants were determined by interviews done by program assistants. I was lucky enough to be placed onto the same team as Nick Lopez. We were given preselected materials and the machine required 10 steps. Teamwork was vital in order to be successful. Although we did not find ourselves at the top in the end, it surely tested our minds and further cemented my love and passion for this type of work.

The entire weekend wasn’t only engineering. Penn State had to squeeze in some fun for the hard working participants of the program. Day 1 consisted of late night skating. On Day 2 students got the chance to take part in a dance class. Finally, on Day 3 we all had the opportunity to enjoy their main center, The Hub. This contained pool tables, video games, arts and crafts, televisions for the sports fans, and a corner for the Yu-Gi-Oh players. Lastly, a trip to Penn State would be incomplete without eating their famous Penn State Ice Cream, only available at the university.

Overall, this program was amazing. Not only was it informative, but also a blast. Penn State has so much to offer and is truly a great school, despite the recent problems.