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Summer SAVY, Session 4 Day 3, Engineering 101 (7th – 8th)

Posted by on Wednesday, July 10, 2024 in blog, SAVY.

We tested our dam designs first thing this morning, due to the predicted inclement weather yesterday afternoon. Students learned about the difficulties of containing water in a dam and controlling its release. Right after, we started covering Mechanical Engineering and some of its sub-types. Unfortunately, ME is the broadest main type of engineering, so we were only able to scratch the surface of potential career paths for our students. 

Students experimented with how certain shapes fall through the air when dropped, incorporating basic Aerospace Engineering design principles. Students asked questions about the safety features of cars, which are designed and built by Automotive Engineers. Students also learned about Controls, Robotics, and Mechatronics by designing and building their own “robot” arms and watching videos of the Boston Dynamics robot dog. We discovered how solar and wind energy is produced, and that there are immense challenges in making solar energy economically viable and in the design and material choice of wind turbine gearboxes. As a class, we went through the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster, the Ford Pinto, and the issues with the Boeing 737 Max 8 that resulted in two crashes in 2018/9 and the loss of a part of the fuselage earlier this year. 

Dinner Table Questions: 

  • What makes Toyota the best-selling car brand worldwide? Hint: Industrial Engineering
  • What are some issues that led to the multiple failures of Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft?
  • How does your home’s HVAC system work? What is the name of that cycle, and which direction does heat flow?
  • Why was the Ford Pinto a bad car?

Have a great rest of your day. We will be covering Electrical Engineering tomorrow, and part of the class will involve a tour of the University’s combined heat and power plant. Your students will need closed-toed shoes and comfortable clothing. They will be provided with in-ear hearing protection. If your student would prefer over-ear ear protection, please send that with your student. 

See everyone tomorrow!