E-Week 2012: Tiny Technology Makes for Fun

Students build nanotube models
Students race to build their carbon nanotube models at SANT’s building competition. | Photo by Ashley Hansberry.

This past Friday marked the end of E-Week 2012, an annual event put on by the College of Engineering with the hopes of “encouraging interaction and communication amongst engineering students, faculty, alumni and industry.” This year’s E-Week featured lectures, trivia events, building contests, and competitions sponsored by different engineering-related groups on campus. The two-week event concluded with a carbon nanotube building contest sponsored by BU’s Students for the Advancement of Nanotechnology (SANT).

Nanotube model
Marshmallows and pretzel sticks make perfect building materials. | Photo by Ashley Hansberry.

While it easily could have been boring or overly technical, the event, called “Size Matters,” proved to be engineering fun as students and members of SANT gathered together in the Photonics Center to talk about nanotechnology. The fun really began when the building competition started and students tried to build carbon nanotube models out of pretzels and marshmallows. Using the food to make hexagon-shaped rings that were supposed to model the hexane rings in real nanotube technology, students raced to make the biggest nanotube. While small size certainly matters in nanotechnology, large size was the goal of this competition. SANT hosted the lighthearted event in hopes of getting students interested in their group and nanotechnology as well.

winning team
The winning team holds up their nanotube model for judging. | Photo by Ashley Hansberry.

“BU is big on nanotechnology, but not many undergraduates know about that,” said SANT treasurer Kimaya Agarwal. Agarwal said that BU’s Nanotechnology labs are doing some important research in the up and coming field, but that too few students know about the research opportunities available to them through the laboratory.  As a club, SANT hopes to change that and get more students interested and involved with the growing nanotechnology community at BU and around Boston.  President Kyle Barrett was happy to see so many students come out to the event and to see that E-Week was doing its job in bringing in such a big turnout.  The College of Engineering doesn’t give student groups many opportunities to interact, said Barrett, but E-Week gives groups and students alike the opportunity to get together to share common interests and advance the cause of engineering at BU.

SANT’s carbon nanotube building contest certainly embodied the spirit of E-Week. “Size Matters” was a fun event in a welcoming environment, yet was still serious about student involvement in the engineering community. Great job, guys!

Ashley Hansberry

Ashley Hansberry (CAS '14) is the Senior Editor at The Quad. She is a senior studying Computer Science and Linguistics who likes writing about robots, technology, and education. When she's not living in the computer science lab, you can find her wearing animal earrings or admiring puppies she sees on the street.

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