News Releases

Engineers Week features new Mines Myth Busters event for public
Release Date Wednesday, February 5, 2014

RAPID CITY, S.D. (Feb. 5, 2014) – The 2014 National Engineers Week will be celebrated at the School of Mines Feb. 18-22 and will feature events for university students, hundreds of area middle school students and the general public alike.

As many as 600 middle or high school students could converge on campus for tours and demonstrations by academic departments, a visit to the Museum of Geology and a NASA presentation. Additionally, several events are open to the general public this year, including a first-ever Mines Myth Busters experiment, a magic chemistry show, the NASA talk and a dodge ball fundraiser to benefit student engineers.

The public is invited to Mines Myth Busters from 6-7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 18, in the McKeel room of the Surbeck Center when Mines professors and students will not just talk about curiosity-driven research, they’ll show it with hands-on demonstrations. The event is free.

Luke Corwin, Ph.D., of the physics department, Justin Meyer, Ph.D., of the chemistry department, and Anthony Kulesa of the civil engineering department will present myths and attempt to prove or disprove them with Mines’ signature twist of explosive experimentation.

The public is also invited to the Thursday, Feb. 20, magic chemistry shows at 9 a.m., 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. They will be held in the lecture hall of the Chemistry Building, room 2228, and will feature experiments involving chemicals that create colorful smoke and flames.

Tom Durkin, deputy director and outreach coordinator of the South Dakota Space Grant Consortium headquartered at the School of Mines, will lead a presentation, “Curious about Curiosity? NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory Mission,” at 1 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 20, in the Surbeck Center ballroom.

Also new this year is a Saturday, Feb. 22, ASCE dodge ball tournament at 10 a.m. in the King Center. The tournament is for four age brackets – elementary, middle school, high school and adult – and is a fundraiser to help the Mines student chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers raise funds to travel to the 2014 Regional Conference. Team entries are $30 for early registration or $45 for day-of registration. T-shirts are also being sold for $10. For details, contact Ben Wolf at (308) 631-2618 or 

Highlights of E-Week follow. Click for additional details.

Tuesday, Feb. 18:

·         Order of the Engineer Luncheon, 11:30 a.m., Ballroom, Surbeck Center

·         Mines Myth Busters, 6-7 p.m., McKeel Room, Surbeck Center

Wednesday, Feb. 19:

·         South Dakota Engineering Society Luncheon, 11:30 a.m., Ballroom, Surbeck Center

 ·         Mr. & Miss Mines Pageant, 7 p.m., Ballroom, Surbeck Center

Thursday, Feb. 20:

·         Engineering & Science Day with between 400-600 middle and high school students visiting the School of Mines campus for campus tours.

·         Chemistry magic shows, open to the public, 9 a.m., 10 a.m., and 11 a.m., lecture hall in Chemistry Building, room 2228

·         Music in Engineering Concert, noon, Music Center

·         Curious about Curiosity? NASA’s Mar Science Laboratory Mission Presentation by Tom Durkin, 1 p.m., Ballroom, Surbeck Center

·         Museum of Geology Open House, noon-4 p.m.

Friday, Feb. 21:

·         Rube Goldberg Challenge, college and high school teams will engineer contraptions to crush a can in at least 20 steps, public viewing at 3 p.m., Ballroom, Surbeck Center; sponsored by American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) of the Black Hills.

Saturday, Feb. 22:

·         MathCounts Contest for sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students, 1 p.m., room 204, Classroom Building.

·         ASCE dodge ball Tournament, 10 a.m., King Center



About SDSM&T

Founded in 1885, the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology is a science and engineering research university located in Rapid City, S.D., offering bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. The university enrolls 2,640 students from 45 states and 37 countries, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 14:1. The average starting salary for graduates is $62,400 with a 98 percent placement rate. Find us online at, on Facebook at and on Twitter at