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Year End Engineering Projects Hot List

By Roshni Jariwala

 

The CNC milling machine. Photo by Nick Hom

This year, a handful of juniors participated in the prototype of an engineering class led by teacher, Wayne Brock. Students were able to, as Brock put it, “dip their toes” in a few of the many types of engineering. For the class’ end of the year project, they were given the chance to pitch projects they were interested in, and try to woo other teammates. Brock said, “I really like that students did not just choose easy projects. They are really pushing themselves to try things outside what might be comfortable.” Here are some of the most popular projects pitched.

CNC Pancakes

One group is building a CNC Mill, which can release pancake mix onto a griddle. CNC stands for Computer Numerical Control, which is where computers are used to control machine tools that can perform different actions. This piece of machinery can create a pancake based on designs created on the computer. Designer, Katie Toye, said that one of the most important things she has learned is to, “prepare for something to go wrong, no matter how well you think you are prepared.”

Prosthetic Elbow

One of the four students in the group, Samantha Tse, said, “Originally it was going to be a hand, but we figured out that making the fingers move would be insanely hard.” Designer, Meghna Gaddam, says that she has “learned to be realistic with projects ‘cause this one may have been ambitious, but I’ve also learned not to give up.”

Milling Arm

According to designer Nicholas Hom, they are building “a two-arm, delta style CNC milling machine. Our objective is to make a tool capable of cutting foam and wood.” Hom is using this assignment to build a project that feeds into the field of his interest. “I want to be a mechanical engineer in the future, and this project is going to be one of the coolest things I will design in my life. It will help me make a very compelling portfolio,” Hom says.

GoKart  

The biggest project in size that is being worked on is the GoKart. Designer, Jadene Auerbach said, “Because I’ve been wanting to build a car for so long, I guess a GoKart was a compromise.” The biggest challenge, besides lack of time is budget. Auerbach says that the team we needs an engine, “which is not cheap”, and that it would be nice to have a chassis that they didn’t have to build. “The different components of the GoKart add up,” she admits.


Brock hopes that students, “walk away with the mindset that they can challenge themselves and push themselves beyond what is ‘assigned’ to them. Then they create their own goals, structure, criteria for success, and keep adding to their toolbox of skills needed to develop the solution to those problems or challenges.”

 

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