Mounted Rocket Launcher
Engineering students show off their latest inventions including this arm mounted rocket launcher at the Meet an Inventor engineering event Thursday night at the Warnock Engineering building.

Smoke, fire, lasers and video games were among the spectacles that junior college and high school students and their families were invited to investigate at “Meet An Inventor Night.” The night served to promote an interest in engineering disciplines for prospective U students.

Participants filled the Warnock Engineering Building on Thursday night to attend the event.

Faculty and upperclassmen in the engineering program contributed their research and inventions for demonstration tables and presentations that informed high schoolers about the technological advancements engineers at the U are making through their studies.

Junior JP Santos and sophomore Jamie Wood represented the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, which offered participants the opportunity to explore their inventions of plasma lamps, ring launchers and iPod lasers.

The laser iPod communicates to speakers without wires by means of a laser. The department is exploring the use of optics to replace applications of electricity.

“It’s cool because usually when you hook up your iPod you hook it directly up to your headphones,” Santos said. “It teaches kids that you can use a laser to send information. Right now, [faculty] are trying to code light to figure out how to build computers with light instead of electricity.”

Magnetic robots displayed by the Department of Biomedical Engineering were the inventions that Jordan High School students Talon Dillman and Keaton Parkin said inspired them.

“Being an inventor, that’s why I’m here,” Dillman said. “Someone came up with that … I could come up with that too.” Both Dillman and Parkin said they plan on enrolling in engineering departments at the U.

DAILY UTAH CHRONICLE – The evening was meant to recruit, motivate and interest students in engineering, said Karen Krapcho, event coordinator. Although the registration was capped at 250 participants, phone inquiries continued throughout the day and Krapcho said everyone was welcom to attend.

Although recruiting future students would seem to cater the event’s focus toward high school students, parents and children in attendance also gave testimony to their enjoyment.

Filmmaker Mario DeAngelis noted his intrigue in an infrared camera on display when he noticed the demonstration across the room. “There is something on fire … You never know what you’re going to see.”
DeAngelis’ 10-year-old son Gabriel enjoyed playing the video game created by Morgan Reynolds, a senior in computer science.

After a half an hour of pizza and demonstrations from the various engineering disciplines in the Catmull Gallery, faculty presentations began and continued until the end of the night.

This event was hosted by the College of Engineering and funded by the National Science Foundation.

Participants were shuttled to various building on campus to take part in tours of engineering labs and other facilities as well as interactive and lecture-style presentations given by faculty.

View the original story at the Daily Utah Chronicle. Story by Lindsey Wilbur, photo by Laron Wilson.