Rockets will fly today at the University’s Space Day.

The College of Engineering will host 175 middle schoolers from across the state at Patrick F. Taylor Hall to participate in space-themed competitions, including rocket and engine building, according to a news release.

Mimi LaValle, director of communications for the College of Engineering, said they will shoot their rocket projects off between 9:30 and 10 a.m.

This exercise will use generated pressure and energy to launch the rockets, LaValle said.

The event is intended to interest children in science, technology, engineering and math — STEM fields  — the news release said.

LaValle said this event will help attract students to the University to earn engineering degrees and potentially begin their careers at the NASA Michoud Assembly Center in New Orleans.

“This is fantastic for students and for Louisiana,” LaValle said.

The event will last through mid-day, running from 9:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m.

At 2 p.m. in the Frank Walk Room, the University’s Space Day will be followed by the Dean’s Distinguished Lecture series, where Wanda Sigur, vice president and deputy of Civil Space for Lockheed Martin Corporation’s Space Systems Company, will serve as the keynote speaker. She will be introduced by Patrick Scheuermann, director of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center.

Sigur will discuss the presence of space research in Louisiana and other topics concerning STEM and industry leaders.

The event is sponsored by the College of Engineering, the College of Science, Jacobs Technology, NASA, the National Administration for Advanced Manufacturing and Lockheed Martin Corporation.

Free parking will be available to the public for the lecture.