UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS — Thousands of people are in town this weekend to see the UI Engineering Open House.
They’re exploring possibilities being dreamed up by some of the brightest minds on campus, but there are a few changes this year. One of the engineering buildings is closed for renovations.
Everitt Lab has been used for different exhibits in the past, but this time, a few things had to be moved around. People say they don’t mind because they’re excited for the future.
There are plenty of wide eyes and inquiring minds on the UIUC campus this weekend. Kids who wouldn’t usually be excited about school are actually having fun while they’re learning.
“You just build a tunnel through with your hand and the water flows through and then you try to make it go through and all the way down through the hole,” said Jeffrey Aowine, an 11-year old from Arthur Grade School.
These grade school kids came to the event for the first time this year. Their teacher says they wanted to stop by since so many of their students like science.
“You can learn more stuff in a funner way than you can in any other subject,” said Jaylon Herschberger, a 10-year old from Arthur Grade School.
“In music, you get to play an instrument and other things,” said Noah Feinberg, a computer engineer. “Here in engineering, we get to build these massive computers sometimes or these awesome robots.”
Even older students understand the allure.
“We get to really enjoy our work in that way,” said Feinberg. “We get to see the fruits of our labor, which is in my opinion, really awesome.”
Innovations are also happening in other forms on campus. One building which is usually front and center is closed off this year.
“They’ve moved around a bunch of the majors, especially since they built these new buildings on the North Quad,” said Feinberg.
Everitt Lab is being renovated so it can hold the new Department of Bioengineering. It’s being transformed by construction workers, so other engineers can dream big in the future.
“I like the challenge of, ‘How do we try to put something in space? How do we control it?'” said Sam Wagner, an aerospace engineering major. “It just all culminates together and actually works.”
The Engineering Open House has events through the weekend including the Tesla Coil Concert, 8:30 pm, Friday, on the Engineering Quad. The exhibits open again Saturday, at 9 am.
Everitt Lab is getting all kinds of upgrades including a new research area, updated HVAC, plumbing and safety systems and a new roof. Workers are also doing different windows and doors, as well as masonry and stone work outside the building.