THIS CLASS IS ON FIRE Renee Falconer, a teaching associate professor in the Chemistry and Geochemistry Department, demonstrated the importance of surface area on combustion using dried Lycopodium plant spores as a flash powder during DiscoverE Engineers Week.

More than 100 area middle and high school students visited Mines on February 20 to learn about STEM careers during DiscoverE Engineers Week, a national initiative aimed at promoting understanding of, and interest in, engineering and technology careers. Formerly known as National Engineers Week, the event is cosponsored by Mines and Lockheed Martin. This year, it began with a chemistry show by Renee Falconer, teaching associate professor in the Chemistry and Geochemistry Department, involving balloon pyrotechnics and other demonstrations. Students then toured research centers and the Geology Museum, where fluorescing rocks and the moon rock were particularly popular.

At a lunch in Friedhoff Hall, professional scientists and engineers mingled with students to answer questions and share their experience, and Paul Anderson ’85 addressed the group, describing his journey from Mines to Lockheed Martin in a talk titled ‘Dreaming Big.’

Engineers Week, which was established by the National Society of Professional Engineers in 1951, has been celebrated on campus for the last three years, thanks to a collaboration initiated by Cynthia Howell, energy education specialist and research faculty at Mines’ Colorado Energy Research Institute, and Jeanette Alberg, manager of community relations for Lockheed Martin.

“What started as a pilot project between Lockheed Martin and Mines is now an annual event, ever-growing in sophistication, collaboration and purpose,” says Howell, who points out that it now involves more than 70 Mines faculty and staff, and 25 Lockheed Martin volunteers.