Higher education can transform lives – and to bring that point home, UCF is hosting a series of events this week.

From today through Friday, events will showcase how education can make a difference, not just in an individual’s life but that of a community as well.

From fifth-graders exploring higher education by experiencing engaging science activities today to an attempt on Friday to break the world record for High-Fives, it’s all about showing how knowledge, creativity and passion fuel change.

The week begins with Achieve College Education Day sponsored by The Burnett Honors College. More than 500 fifth-graders from poorer neighborhoods will visit UCF to see that college isn’t out of reach. The students will see hands-on demonstrations meant to grab their attention, from holding actual meteorites, to learning to conduct an orchestra, to handling animal bones. By seeing what they can do, the hope is they will continue on the path to college.

College students will also start seeing MakerBots stations pop up around the Engineering II building. These stations house 3-D printers that are used in a variety of industries. A 3-D printer was even sent to the International Space Station last year.

The week will culminate with a Microsoft-sponsored event aimed at breaking the world record for high-fives as a way to draw attention to the efforts of a group of students at UCF who are making free 3-D bionic arms for children.

More than 1,687 people are needed in Memory Mall at noon Friday to set up the human chain that will attempt to break the record by using a bionic arm designed by UCF’s own Limbitless Solutions team. The group of volunteer students designed and created a 3-D printed arm for a local boy who needed one. They gave it to him in July at no cost to the family. Then the team uploaded the designs and “how-to” instructions to the Internet for anyone to use. Since then they have received requests from more than 25 countries and are currently helping four families in Florida.

Group leader Albert Manero says it’s all about using knowledge and creativity to give families hope and change the world.

A range of other events will be taking place to give young and college-age students a chance to see the power of an education. Many events are part of Engineering Week. There will an opportunity to help build mechanical hands for children that need them, an opportunity to create beautiful designs for mechanical arms and to explore more. Check out the many opportunities:


  • MakerBot Farm: Check out 3-D printing, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Engineering II
  • ACE Day, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. More than 500 fifth -graders visit an array of activities throughout campus.
  • Today

  • CECS Club Showcase, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Engineering II Atrium. Showcase of College of Engineering and Computer Science student clubs with info and giveaways.
  • Launch Water Bottle Rockets, 1-3 p.m., Engineering II Atrium. Build and launch a bottle rocket. It should take just a couple of minutes to complete a launch.
  • Tuesday

  • Build the Tallest Balloon Tower Challenge, 1:30 p.m. – 3 p.m., Harris Engineering Center lawn. Build a freestanding balloon tower to challenge the group, the mind and the cohesiveness of individual group members.
  • Simple Machine Relay Race, 3-5 p.m., Harris Engineering Center lawn. Come see two teams compete in a relay race centered around five simple machines that must complete four challenges.
  • Wednesday

  • CECS Engineers’ Fair, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Harris Engineering Center lawn. Launch bottle rockets, play giant Jenga, see a steel bridge, drive a human-powered vehicle, and more. Snacks, sodas, giveaways provided.
  • Multicultural Night, 6-9 p.m., Engineering II Atrium. Enjoy free food and learn about the different ethnicities among engineering students at UCF.
  • Thursday

  • Ethics in Engineering, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., Engineering II lawn (Student Union side). Engineers are held to ethics and standards as spelled out by the Order of the Engineer. Check out stories of failed engineering due to unethical behavior. Learn methods to prevent these disasters.
  • Microsoft Build-A-Thon, 9 a.m. – noon and from 1 to 4 p.m. UCF Maker Spaces in the Engineering II Atrium.
  • Friday

  • Microsoft Design-A-Thon, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Engineering II. Share your design ideas for Limbitless Solutions hands and arms. Artists, engineers and 3D designers welcomed.
  • World Record High-Five Chain, noon – 2 p.m., Memory Mall, UCF tries to set a high-five chain world record of 1,700.
  • Delivering World-Changing Solutions: “Wall of Business Cards,” 1-4 p.m., Engineering II lawn. A wall of contact information to bring people, ideas and current and future projects together to deliver world-changing solutions.
  • Rube Goldberg Competition, 6-8 p.m., Harris Engineering Center Room 101 and Atrium. Teams will build a 20-step machine that will erase a whiteboard.
  • Saturday

  • E-Cup, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Lake Claire, Econ Pavilion. Join the UCF engineering clubs for friendly competition in kayaking and canoe races, volleyball, and soccer.