THATCHER, AZ-Eastern Arizona College's Engineering Department hosted its
12th annual Engineering Day earlier this month. The event was co-sponsored
by Freeport McMoRan, Bowman Consulting, and the EAC Engineering Club and was
attended by high school students from all over Arizona.
Freeport donated all of the t-shirts and prizes that were given to the
students and 14 Freeport engineers volunteered their time to help mentor
both the high school students and the EAC engineering students.
"The volunteer engineers ran the competitions this year with help from the
EAC Engineering Club. It was great to see them take charge and run the
event," said EAC engineering instructor and coordinator of the event, Tom
Palmer. "Michael Bryce, our Graham County engineer, donated his time on his
day off to come help, as well as fifteen students from our Engineering
The Soda Straw Bridge Contest tests students' ability to work as a team,
utilize a limited amount of resources they had to 'purchase,' and solve a
problem in a limited time frame. Teams build a bridge that will need to
support an applied load using only soda straws and straight pins. The
first-place winners were Kendon Napier, Jay Anderson, Austin Metcalf, and
Evan Stringfellow from Ft. Thomas. The second-place team included Dawson
Allen, Brenton Stradling, Bailey Bingham, and Marc Terry from Thatcher High
The K'Nex Water Tower Competition involves the construction of a water
tower. The goal of this competition was to construct a tower designed to
hold a 2-liter water bottle. The tower must be free-standing and hold the
required weight for a minimum of one minute without collapsing. The winners
of this team exercise were Kyle Clark, Shane Skinner, Gavin Windsor, and
Leisel Griffin from Thatcher High School. The second-place team included
Bradley Fox, Michaela Burkett, Dustin Friend, and Daniel Nault from Morenci
The Egg Drop Competition involves dropping an egg from a height of 16 feet
onto solid concrete. The primary objective is to construct a device that can
protect the egg, with the secondary goal of constructing the most
cost-effective device. The first-place winners were James Lair, Joseph
Ramsey, Conner Skousen, and Victor Padilla from St. Johns High School.
Second place was a tie between winners Alexandria Scott, Tamara Black, Abbey
Curtis, and Joshua Villalba from Safford High School and Jensen Mitchell,
Liam Windsor, Mark Bierman, and Lianne Reidhead from Thatcher High School.
New to Engineering Day this year was the Water Rocket competition. Teams
used compressed air and water to launch their 2-liter soda bottle rockets
while calculating a launch direction and angle that would allow for the
rocket to land in the designated zone against the windy conditions. The
first-place winners were Jensen Mitchell, Liam Windsor, Mark Bierman, and
Lianne Reidhead from Thatcher High School. Second-place winners were Tori
Beus from Pima and Elizabeth Aja, Brooke Brines, and Victor Barrio from
Morenci High School.
The first place overall winners were Jensen Mitchell, Liam Windsor, Mark
Bierman, and Lianne Reidhead from Thatcher High School. The second place
winners were Zach Spencer, Shane Skinner, Gavin Windsor, and Drew Huntsaker
from Thatcher High School. The third place winners were James Lair, Joseph
Ramsey, Conner Skousen, and Victor Padilla from St. Johns High School. The
fourth place winners from Safford High School were Alexandria Scott, Tamara
Black, Abbey Curtis, and Joshua Villalba.
"We had eight high schools attend this year: Thatcher, Safford, Pima,
Morenci, Duncan, Bowie, Fort Thomas, and St. Johns. The St. Johns students
were on a bus at 4 a.m. to make it here in time," says Palmer. "It was
great to see that several students who participated last year came excited
and prepared for the competition."
For information about next year's EAC Engineering Day, call Palmer at (928)