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Science Olympiad

Each year, the Chi Epsilon student chapter is asked to assist with the running of one of the events that make up the statewide Science Olympiad competition, held at MSU the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. The event we operate is always related to some structural phenomenon, a cantilevered beam, a tower, and so forth. Entries are all wood and glue and are rated on the lightness of the structure and the load it can carry. Student volunteers assist with setup, supervision of the loading process and weighing the loads after failure. The interaction between the high school and junior high students and these undergraduate and graduate students in engineering is, we believe, a critical outreach function of our chapter.


The Engineerathon is a part of National Engineers’ Week which seeks to raise awareness about engineers’ contributions to society and inspire interest in engineering fields among middle and high school students. Students participate in activities which demonstrate the problem solving skills needed to accomplish tasks in a variety of engineering disciplines. As an example, the Civil Engineering department exposes students to the practices of geotechnical engineering by allowing students to build a retaining wall which prevents shear failure in soil using nothing more than paper towels. The Engineerathon bridges the gap between math and science classes taken by students and practical engineering applications through simple demonstrations and activities.

FIRST Lego League

The FIRST Lego League is an international robotics competition designed for elementary and middle school students all over the world. The competition consists of four main sections. First, the students participate in a teamwork exercise. Secondly, the student give a technical presentation in which they demonstrate that the robot they built was designed appropriately for the tasks given. The students then participate in a research project which is presented to a panel of judges. Finally, the students must use the robots they designed and built to complete a set of tasks. Volunteers for the FIRST Lego League include members of many engineering clubs such as Chi Epsilon.

Math Counts

Mathcounts is a middle school math competition primarily sponsored by the National Society of Professional Engineers. The aim of the competition is to inspire excellence, confidence and curiosity in U.S. middle school students through fun and challenging math problems. The Mathcounts competition program provides an atmosphere for students to push themselves to achieve more in mathematics. It consists of fun and creative problems that promote critical-thinking and problem-solving skills. The competitions consist of both written and oral rounds, as well as individual and team components. With the generous support of volunteers such as Chi Epsilon, Mathcounts is providing today’s students with the foundation for success in science, technology, engineering and mathematics careers.