By Sabrina Rivera, EIT, A.M. ASCE, Los Angeles YMF
National Engineer’s Week is always full of exciting events; as ASCE members, we reach out to our local communities and share the awesomeness of engineering. This year was no exception. The Los Angeles Section kicked E-Week week off by hosting the 20th Annual Popsicle Stick Bridge Competition at the California State University of Northridge (CSUN). Our outreach did not stop there; the following Friday (February 21st), the Metropolitan Los Angeles Branch (MLAB) and Los Angeles YMF sponsored the first annual Egg Drop Eggstravaganza at Los Angeles City Hall.
The idea started out as a casual comment during an MLAB Government Affairs Committee (GAC) meeting. It quickly grew to be one of the largest and most successful events of the year! Younger Members worked hard with local City Council members and two local elementary schools to facilitate the egg drop competition in City Hall. Students, the public, and elected officials learned about engineering, public service, and creative thinking. Special thanks to City Council member Gilbert Cedillo (Council District 1) for co-sponsoring the event and committing his staff to support the logistics.
Younger Members visited both schools before the Eggstravaganza to build their egg drop contraptions. They learned about engineering principles and the critical thinking necessary to help their eggs survive a 35-foot drop in the Rotunda of City Hall.
The day started out with a crowd of 4th graders passing through metal detectors holding their lunches and egg drop contraptions. Excitement was definitely in the air. For many students, this was their first time in City Hall. Students were broken up into different groups. All students received a “City Engineer” badge for the day.
The City of Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering and ASCE were presented with official proclamations from LA City Council to commemorate National Engineers Week. We were recognized for the service we provide to the City. The proclamation was sponsored by Council member Gilbert Cedillo from Council District 1. The City’s Engineer Deborah Weintraub, LA YMF President George Huang, and Event Coordinator Sabrina Rivera each had a chance to speak to the council. Each speaker was thankful for the recognition and looked forward to improving the prominence of engineering as well as increasing the number of women in it. Watch the video.
After the presentation, the groups split up to tour the building. Students could be seen and heard throughout City Hall, their faces displayed excitement and interest as they got to see the building’s architecture, historical photos, and City vistas.
The next phase of the day was set to begin; students were broken up into two groups, one went inside City Hall for the egg drop competition and the other group went outside City Hall to participate in the science fair. Students cheered when their eggs survived the dropped.
The Bureau of Sanitation, Department of Water and Power, and Los Angeles River Revitalization Program participated in the Science Fair. There were giveaways and handouts for all participants. Even UCLA hosted a table where they built marshmallow and spaghetti structures while the organization Two Bit Circus played a laser freeze tag game and talked to the students about electronics and construction.
Overall the day was a huge success as we were able to work collaboratively with our local government offices and local schools. Our goal was to provide a unique experience that would combine engineering and public service. We were glad to know that ASCE member made E-week eggciting for both kids and legislators.
Please enjoy photos from the event.