Introduction to Engineering
This quarter, students developed skills in creating 3D part files and virtually assembling them to create a complex models. They also learned how to use vectors, free body diagrams, and moments to design and a wooden glider. During the construction process, students were forced to balance a budget between materials and manufacturing costs, carefully choosing when to “rent” tools and “purchase” hardware. They will apply what they learned from the glider project to design, model, build and test a wooden bridge in the first weeks of Quarter 3.
Students began the quarter by constructing the VEX Testbed, where they learned how to set up and program different robotic motors and sensors. They used these lessons, as well as their knowledge of mechanical systems, to develop a series of solutions to a set of real-world problems. Examples include building and programming a spinning sign for the outside of a local business, a robotic drag-racing car, a traffic light, a tollbooth for an airport parking lot, and a rotating bridge that would allow both boats and trains to cross a river intersection. Lessons for Quarter 3 will dive deeper into the electrical components that were programmed in these projects so that students can understand their uses and purposes for larger, industrial-sized robots.