Each day this week, hundreds of elementary school students from around the state are visiting the University of Utah College of Engineering campus to learn about exciting engineering concepts that improve our world.

The students have been participating in the week-long “Elementary Engineering Week” at the university’s A. Ray Olpin Student Union, in which fifth- and sixth-graders participate in a variety of fun science and technology-related activities. The event is held from Feb. 18 through 21.

In one activity, students construct catapults partly from wood, plastic and foam pieces to launch marshmallows. Classes compete against each other to design and create a catapult with the best accuracy. In another, they design and build towers from drinking straws to see if they can withstand gusts of wind. This is to demonstrate design concepts for stability and strength.

“For a lot of these kids, this is the first time they will visit a college campus,” said event organizer, Amy Arkwright. “And a lot of them don’t know what engineering is, so this gives them the opportunity to see what it’s all about.”

“Elementary Engineering Week” is one of several annual outreach events held by the College of Engineering to stir the interests of young students in engineering disciplines.

Click below for a gallery of photos during the week’s event.