Engineering challenge: move a million commuters!

The Engineering and Design Process: What Do Engineers Do?

Today, we learned about the 8 steps in the Engineering and Design process. We started with identifying a problem that needed a solution and we got to test out models that could address the problem.

Turkey is the only country to span two continents, and in its largest city, Istanbul, there is a channel of water that separates the European side and the Asian side. There are millions of people that commute across that strait daily to get to and from work. Our problem was: how would we get one million people across the Bosphorus strait in a day? We also had to consider constraints like the weight of trains, bikes and people, the weather, and marine life.  We also needed to take into account that the area is earthquake-prone! It was very challenging, but we used the steps of the Engineering and Design process to guide us and it helped us to work as a team.

Some of us built tunnels and others built bridges using materials like straws, spaghetti, clay, tin foil, string, and even toilet paper rolls! We got to be really creative with our designs, which was really fun.



Dr. Catherine Sukow

Dr. Sukow's interest in science education began when she was a teenager, with an extended visit to San Francisco's Exploratorium. In college, she had summer jobs in a similar, smaller, museum. She focused her Master's research at NCSU on the structure of metal silicides on silicon, and her Ph. D. work at Brandeis on the structure of crossbridged actin bundles. While volunteering in her childrens' schools, she was reminded how much fun it is to teach science, and is happy to be teaching now with Science from Scientists. In her spare time, she also enjoys yoga, choral and solo singing, and attempting a variety of international cuisines.

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