DO-IT Participants Have Fun at the UW College of Engineering Open House


by Scott Bellman, DO-IT Staff

On April 28, DO-IT students took time out of their busy schedules to explore the future of engineering and science at the University of Washington College of Engineering (COE) Open House! DO-IT hosted a pizza party which was attended by Scholars, DO-IT staff, and a group of students from DO-IT's High School/High Tech collaboration with the Seattle Youth Employment Program. About thirty DO-IT friends ate pizza, cake, and salad while door prizes were distributed.

The COE Open House is a time when UW engineering departments open their doors to the public. They offer hands-on activities in exhibits that are staffed by graduate students, volunteers, and professors. Some of the exhibits featured liquid nitrogen ice cream, computer simulations, robotic fish, wind tunnel demonstrations, water rockets, biomaterial manipulations, and nanoscience experiments.

Michael Richardson, DO-IT Program Manager, was especially excited about the emergence of Professor Richard Ladner's Mobile ASL project, which puts modern video compression on cell phones to enable the use of American Sign Language (ASL) between users who are deaf. "There are a lot of advantages to using ASL to talk to a friend, as compared to text messaging," explains Michael. "Richard's project holds a lot of potential for the deaf community and is a good example of modifying developing technology for use by people with disabilities. This kind of technology makes the COE Open House a lot of fun for me."

The COE Open House was attended by over 7,000 teachers, students, alumni, friends, and family. For more information consult http://www.engr.washington.edu/openhouse/.