Introduction to Engineering and Design

   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 it’s largest city, Istanbul, there is a channel of water that separates the European side and the Asian side and there are millions of people that commute to and from work. Our problem was: how would we get one million people across the Bosphorus strait in several times a day? We also had to consider constraints like the weight of trains, bikes and people, the weather, and marine life. 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. Using materials like straws, spaghetti, clay, tin foil, string, and even toilet paper rolls, the teams were encouraged to build a bridges, ferries, or tunnels to get people across the strait. We got to be really creative with our designs, which was really fun.

After some discussion, the four teams all designed bridges, and every bridge successfully passed the load-bearing, earthquake, and environmental impact test even though every bridge had a different design. Great job, eighth grade!

 

2014-10-06 14.08.20 2014-10-06 14.35.40 2014-10-06 14.33.50 2014-10-06 14.08.05

Author

Dr. Maureen Griffin

Maureen earned a Ph.D. in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania in 2003. While at Penn, she developed a novel micro-mechanical technique called micropipette peeling to investigate the role of muscle cell adhesion in normal and diseased skeletal muscle cells. After graduating, Maureen worked full time as a post-doctoral researcher and then a staff scientist a SelectX Pharmaceuticals. She joined the teaching staff in 2008 and was excited to be made an executive staff member in 2009. Maureen also continued to consult part time for SelectX until her daughter's birth in 2009; now she is focused on Science from Scientists and, of course, her children. Maureen uses her spare time to read, blog, cook, and renovate her house.

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