Astronaut Janice Voss speaks at RVC Feb. 20

StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-11714989313799.jpg’, ‘Photo courtesy of‘, ‘Astronaut Janice Voss, a Rockford native, walks out of the crew quarters at the Kennedy Space Center on the morning of the launch of the 97th Shuttle Mission aboard Space Shuttle Endeavour in 1999. Mission Specialist Voss is accompanied by fellow crew members Mamoru Mohri (left) of the Japanese space agency (NASDA) and Gerhard Thiele of the European Space Agency (ESA). (Photo by John Tylko.)‘);

Students and guests will hear that the sky (or outer space) is truly the limit for the creators, builders and dreamers of tomorrow at the Engineering/Engineering Tech College & Career Night at Rock Valley College Tuesday, Feb. 20.

The special guest speaker for the evening is Astronaut Janice Voss. Voss, formerly of Rockford, is a graduate of Purdue University with a degree in engineering science. Dr. Voss has two degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)—a master’s in electrical engineering and a doctorate in aeronautics/astronautics. She became an astronaut in 1991. Dr. Voss has logged more than 49 days in space on five flights traveling more than 18.8 million miles and 779 Earth orbits. She is the science director for the Kepler spacecraft at the NASA Ames Research Center. Once launched, the Kepler Spacecraft will be looking for Earth-sized planets around distant stars. She will speak beginning at 7 p.m. in the Rock Valley College Student Center atrium, on the main campus at 3301 N. Mulford Rd.

From 5:30 to 8 p.m., that same night, students will be invited to the RVC Woodward Technology Center to discover career opportunities, as nearly a dozen universities and colleges will be available to talk about their engineering programs, including Michigan Technical University, Purdue University, Northern Illinois University, Morrison Institute of Technology, Illinois Institute of Technology, Milwaukee School of Engineering and Rock Valley College. Representatives from professional engineering societies will also be on hand to talk about fields in engineering.

The Rock Valley College-hosted event is in celebration of National Engineering Week, designed to encourage engineering exploration among students in the region.

In addition, dozens of high school teams, led by math and science teachers, will participate in a great day of fun and learning at the fifth annual Bridge Building Competition Friday, Feb. 23. Taking place from 8 a.m. to noon at the RVC Stenstrom Center for Career Education, 4151 Samuelson Rd., the high school juniors and seniors will have one hour to construct a truss bridge made only from wood sticks and super glue. NIU engineering students will load test the bridges to determine which is the strongest. High school freshmen and sophomores, meantime, will have an opportunity to build exciting electronics projects such as radios, burglar alarms and doorbells, under the guidance of an RVC engineering professor.

For more information about these events, contact Linda Auman, RVC Tech Prep interim director, at (815) 921-3186.

This week-long “Discover Engineering Week” celebration also includes the “Discover Engineering/Egg Drop Extravaganza” at the Rockford Public Library on Saturday, Feb. 17, and “Discover Engineering” fair on Saturday, Feb. 24 at the Discovery Center Museum.

Rock Valley College’s Engineering Week events are coordinated in conjunction with Discovery Center Museum, Rockford Public Library, Rockford Area Ventures, Society of Automotive Engineers, American Society of Quality, International Society of Professional Engineers, and the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, Inc.

From the Feb. 14-20, 2007, issue

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