Principles of Engineering Design
|Sites Offered||ATN, BRI, HAV, SCZ, SUN|
|Previously Offered||EST, HKU, SRF|
From the world’s tallest tower, Burj Khalifa in Dubai, built to sustain high winds and temperatures up to 122 degrees Fahrenheit, to the Shanghai Maglev, the world’s fastest commercial train that can cover 19 miles in just over seven minutes, humanity’s unending quest to find the best, most efficient, and cheapest means to make human life better has created engineering marvels.
Students in this course work primarily in teams to solve real-world and simulated problems in the field of engineering. This study requires a synergy of mathematical knowledge, scientific thinking, and engineering design skills. Students first examine actual engineering projects to see how a vast body of human knowledge is applied to solve problems. For example, students may analyze aircraft design to discuss how composite materials are used to make modern vehicles lighter and stronger; how innovations in energy technology make electric vehicles more efficient and viable; and how bridges are made to withstand extreme stress and wind pressure. Students then design, construct, and test their own working models and prototypes, such as amphibious vehicles, solar-powered cars, bridges, or skyscrapers.
As part of the engineering design process, students weigh economic and ethical considerations along with technological ones and submit written technical reports. They also discuss and compare their projects to determine avenues for design improvements. Students leave the class with a broader view of the field of engineering and a deeper understanding of the day-to-day work of engineers.
EGRD.A.SUN.17.2 was taught by David Shaw, who was... intimidating. The entire course was spent building stuff with balsa wood, with the exception of the first week, which was spent learning new vocabulary and equations everyone forgot. Since the focus was on building, David had to tell the class how to reach the correct answers on the test at the end of the course. However, he said he was very proud of the students for figuring out how to make functional things that met the criteria in the challenging scenarios he gave them. This class used so much balsa wood and hot glue that the hot glue ran out by the second week. The instructor then had to buy more and repeatedly told students to stop using so much glue.
EGRD.B.SUN.17.2 did similar projects to the the EGRD.A class, but their instructor Michael was an electrical engineer rather than a mechanical engineer (like David, who taught the EGRD.A class) so it was a little different. Their egg drop was replaced by some sort of pringle protection thing, which they threw around the room to test. Additionally, while both classes built bridges, this class was allowed to have materials that were MUCH easier to work with (way thicker balsa wood). In larger amounts. Both classes also built solar cars, but this class used a kit while EGRD. A used whatever was available in their lab. (Mostly lots and lots and lots of balsa wood and hot glue... and complaining about how there wasn't enough torque... and how the axles wouldn't spin... and then asking why the EGRD.B kids got kits...) The EGRD.B class had a much higher success rate with the cars, but many students complained it wasn't as fun. In EGRD.B, everyone made new friends, and Kevin learned a lot of new Chinese swears. Bill loved using his iPad, and it got him in trouble. Everyone played a lot of Four Square and had tons of fun. Henry's height was insane, while Ryan and Nolan loved playing Pokemon Go. Though walking up the hill was a pain, everyone got to class and learned a lot.