Sources: Tom Roberts, 785-532-5455, tcr@k-state.edu;
Brett Fearing, bfear@k-state.edu; and Mark Prieb, prieb@k-state.edu
Hometown interest for: Kansas City and Lehigh, Kan.
Websites: http://www.engg.k-state.edu/steelring and
http://www.k-state.edu/openhouse
News release prepared by: Megan Molitor, 785-532-1566, molitor@k-state.edu

Thursday, Feb. 23, 2012

Come one, come all: College of Engineering invites community to 90th Open House celebration

MANHATTAN -- In the 1920s, the College of Engineering and the Manhattan community came together to celebrate the exciting things taking place at Kansas State University. Now, 90 years later, there's still reason to celebrate.

While the university has been hosting its annual All-University Open House since the 1980s, the College of Engineering is carrying on its own tradition. This year's event, April 20-21, will mark the college's 90th open house. And this year the goal is to build upon the enthusiasm that has made the event popular for so long.

"Fifty years ago, when Manhattan was smaller, the college's open house was a major event," said Tom Roberts, assistant dean of recruitment and development for the College of Engineering. "We're working hard to make it a community event again."

Roberts hopes students, faculty and staff, and community members of all ages will visit this year's open house, much of which reflects the 90th anniversary theme. The weekend's events will kick off with a parade at 12:20 p.m. Friday, April 20, which will begin at Cardwell Hall and wind down Mid-Campus Drive to Bosco Plaza at the K-State Student Union. Skits featuring each of the engineering degree programs will follow the parade.

The public is also welcome to view student displays and take a self-guided tour throughout the engineering complex on Friday afternoon. Mark Prieb, senior in industrial and manufacturing systems engineering and president of the Steel Ring Engineering Honor Society, Lehigh,said students from Steel Ring are working hard to dig up pieces of the college's past, like memorabilia of the St. Patrick and St. Patricia engineering awards as well as photos of past parades and exhibits.

An anniversary celebration for engineering students, faculty and alumni will take place from 5:30-7:30 p.m. in the Rathbone Hall atrium. Brett Fearing, senior in civil engineering and open house committee representative, Kansas City, Kan., said the committee has planned games and a drawing with prizes for the evening.

"I'm looking forward to Friday night the most," Fearing said. "The group has put in a lot of work and developed new ideas to make this year's celebration a lot of fun."

Other activities taking place throughout the two-day event include industrial displays in Durland, Fiedler, Rathbone and Seaton halls, as well as a design team and department showcase. This showcase will highlight several student projects, including a Weed Eater-motor bicycle competition and canned food skyscrapers.

Activities will also be available for children, like a special train from the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad that families can ride through campus. Prieb said these activities provide an opportunity for the entire community to get involved with the College of Engineering.

"We want younger kids to have a positive image of engineering students," he said. "In elementary or middle school, people hear 'engineering' and are apprehensive because they think it will be too difficult. We hope this helps them look past it and gets kids to consistently attend open house and start thinking about engineering."

The weekend's festivities are also meant to showcase the state's new University Engineering Initiative Act, which Roberts said seeks to increase the number of engineering graduates at K-State by 30 percent.

"A number of things we'll be doing at open house will not only bring elementary and high school students in, but keep our engineering students involved," he said. "We're partnering with legislative and business leaders to make sure everyone understands the importance of engineering to the state."

To learn more about the College of Engineering's open house activities, visit http://www.engg.k-state.edu/steelring. To learn more about the All-University Open House, visit http://www.k-state.edu/openhouse.