Engineering students share successes

After weeks of hard work the engineering students have finally finished their year-long projects. Since the beginning of September, eight students have been working to address the tasks that they have researched.

For the project, the class split into two groups of four. One group tried to find a solution to something involving nail polish bottles, the other group worked to find a solution involving injuries incurred by people while operating automobile doors.

After picking the topics that they wanted to do, the groups had to work on coming up with a solution and then attempt to produce a working prototype. The students dedicated themselves to these projects for weeks to evaluate each part of the design process and make sure they did it right.

The groups had six steps that they needed to evaluate and figure out. The first step was to identify prior solutions. Then the had to create, implement, and analyze market research and surveys. Next they brainstormed solutions. After that they had to design, build and test a working prototype. In step five, they had to analyze the prototype test. The last step is to present the design solution and recommendations.

The students in this class get to experience what it may be like to be a real engineer and have to solve a problem from start to finish. Both groups ran into little “speed bumps” where something didn’t work the way that is way supposed to. “The year-long project is good because you have all year to work and accomplish your goal,” said senior Megan Tucker, who is going to Iowa State University next year for engineering.

Although the students are working on the same thing, they can all learn different stuff. Some may learn more about 3D computer software they used, while others developed their communication skills while talking to outside experts. “It’s not like any other class that you can take at the high school.  You spend an entire school year researching every aspect of a particular problem and then work your way through the process of coming up with a working solution,” engineering teacher Zeb Nicholson said.


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