While SEAOI encourages any meaningful volunteer activity, the following is a list of events that SEAOI supports. Contact us to get involved with any of these events!

Looking for Model Building Volunteers

SEAOI is urgently looking for volunteers to build models in the next three weeks to use at events promoting awareness of structural engineering among school-age children. 

Using hands-on, interactive models is a fun and effective way to present structural engineering concepts and systems to young students, their parents, and the general public that attend these type of events. While allowing for interactive exploration, some models are very simple, others are more complex. 

As we expand our library of models, we are looking for volunteers to create new models or recreate and enhance some of the existing models that we have used over the years. These models are the centerpiece of our engagement with the students and a means to spark their imagination and curiosity while providing tidbits of education.

Anyone with an interest in assisting should contact the SEAOI office.

Future City Competition 

This competition takes place each January and requires volunteers to serve as judges and/or engineer mentors. The Future City Competition serves students in 6th, 7th and 8th grade. Sponsored by DiscoverE, this national program introduces students to engineering with the popular Sim City software. Students design future cities with simulation software, build scale models, write essays and give oral presentations on their city's design. The theme for the 2019-20 Competition is "Clean Water: Tap into Tomorrow"  where students will be challenged to identify an urban water system threat and then imagine, research, design, and build a futuristic solution to ensure a reliable supply of clean water. 

The 2020 Regional Finals take place on Saturday, January 18, 2020 at Whitney Young High School, 211 South Laflin, Chicago, IL 60607.

IIT Bridge Building Contest

The 2020 Chicago Regional Bridge Building Contest will be held on Tuesday, January 28, 2020​. Out of an abundance of caution for the participants and because everyone needs to make travel plans early, the 2020 International Bridge Contest scheduled for May 9, 2020 has been canceled. Visit 2020 International Contest Information for more information.

DuPage Area STEM Expo 

Occurring every February in conjunction with national Engineers Week, this free event is designed to introduce children of all ages to the field of engineering through hands-on activities and demonstrations.  As an event exhibitor, SEAOI will have three display tables and needs volunteers to assist with setup, takedown, and visitor interaction during a morning and afternoon shift.  Additionally, SEAOI member Larry Novak will be exploring the wonderful world of skyscrapers in his presentation “From Legos to Skyscrapers” where attendees will also have a chance to build their own Lego tower and see how well it survives a simulated earthquake.  This year’s Expo takes place on Saturday, February 22, 2020

Interested in volunteering for this event? Visit the info page here or register as a volunteer here.

Plan your visit here

Chicago Canstruction® 

"Build Night" for Canstruction® combines the competitive spirit of a design/build competition with a unique way to help feed hungry people. Competing teams, led by architects and engineers, showcase their talents by designing giant sculptures made entirely out of canned foods. At the close of the exhibitions all of the food used in the structures is donated to local food banks for distribution to pantries, shelters, soup kitchens, elderly and day care centers. The volunteer requirement varies. This year's Build Night takes place on Thursday, August 27, 2020.