CORVALLIS - This year, the Oregon State University College of Engineering will spice up its participation in da Vinci Days, with learning adventures that range from goop making and LEGO robotics to the effects of zero gravity during space flights, the liquefaction of soils during earthquakes, and the impacts of tsunamis on coastlines.

The new OSU Wireless Village will feature more than a dozen exhibits and learning stations where participants can learn about engineering and see what engineers do, in this annual festival which celebrates art, science and technology.

"We want to show people in a fun, hands-on way how engineers help make the world a better place," said Chris Bell, associate dean at the OSU College of Engineering. "There will be something for everyone, whether you want to make art with a remote-controlled TekBot, see what it's like to learn in a wireless classroom or just sit in the shade and surf the Internet."

At the OSU Wireless Village, people can also:

  • Learn about physics while riding a Segway, the two-wheeled personal transporter you make move by just thinking, and get your digital photo taken that you can download at home later.


  • Discover how engineers are able to harvest electricity from ocean waves.


  • Make your own waves in a 16-foot-long, Plexiglas wave tank, then hop a shuttle to the O.H. Hinsdale Wave Research Laboratory to see the world's largest and most-wired tsunami wave basin generating big waves.


  • See award-winning student-built robots designed to clear landmines.


  • Learn about polymers and chemical engineering by getting your hands dirty and making gels and goop.


  • View a real mini-Baja racecar built by OSU mechanical engineering students.


  • Watch the FIRST LEGO League 2003 MARS robotic challenge for middle school teams.

The OSU Wireless Village will be open both Saturday and Sunday, July 17 and 18 on lower campus along 14th Street. The O.H. Hinsdale Wave Research Laboratory will offer guided tours of the new Tsunami Wave Basin and the Large Wave Flume from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Tours will be given every 10 to 15 minutes and will last approximately 45 minutes.

On the web: For more information on the OSU College of Engineering, visit: For more information on da Vinci Days, visit:

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Chris Bell, 541-737-1598