Engineers Week Kicks Off

Engineer Week Legos

National Engineers Week commenced yesterday and runs through Saturday, February 22, with various educational and celebratory events that provide interactive experiences with engineering.

For example, the Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF) kicked off its slate of week-long events yesterday with an all-day festival called “Engineers This! Building That!” designed to help families discover what engineers do by providing educational presentations, demonstrations and hands-on activities emphasizing engineering related to buildings and structures.

Hundreds of children, students and adults attended throughout the day and were able to meet engineering professionals from around the region, including volunteers from the Structural Engineers Association of Illinois (SEAOI), and learn about the work they do to shape our cities, as well as participate in various activities which included: constructing skyscrapers using LEGOs and testing them in a simulated earthquake (as shown in the top-left photo); discovering the building materials of structures (including steel!) and innovative systems like shear walls and how they resist earthquake and wind forces; and designing their very own bridges (as shown in the photo at right).

Other events offered by CAF this week include a tour tomorrow of the steel-framed Willis Tower to explore the unique architecture and structural design of this famous Chicago building, an adults-only LEGO skyscraper competition (judged by SOM’s Bill Baker) with cocktails on Wednesday hosted by the Architects from the Council for Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, and an engineering day for teens on Saturday at Crown Hall, where they’ll be able to engage in structural design challenges with practicing architects, engineers and other designers. 

Now in its 63rd year, National Engineers Week is organized by DiscoverE (formerly the National Engineers Week Foundation) whose mission is to help unite, mobilize and support the engineering and technology volunteer communities.
For more information on Engineers Week, visit