Last week, our young scientists were introduced to the engineering process and today, they had an opportunity to delve further into the engineering process through redesigning prototypes. We learned about practical and useful design, which is usually defined through certain constraints, such as money! We also explored the world of computer-aided design (CAD) and realized that it is a useful and something more practical to use, such as designing and testing a business jet designed by Dessault Systemes (which normally would take them 16 months, but only took 7 months through using SolidWorks, a CAD software).
In today’s activity, we took an MCAS question and worked on fixing a bookcase that had already been built, but had several flaws. We worked in groups to assess those flaws and had some time to come up with solutions and design a new prototype. Then we had a chance to test out our new bookcase designs to see how they stacked up against designs made by other groups. Everyone had such interesting designs; if I was an engineer looking to hire new employees for my engineering company and take some innovative design ideas, I would definitely look into hiring some future engineers from these classes!
Aside from redesigning bookcases, we learned about how important it is for engineers to redesign things that have already been built. For example, engineers that have come up with their own prototypes (original designs) still have to test it and will probably have to redesign it many times before they are satisfied with their creation. Many of our young scientists (or rather, engineers!) realized this today when they redesigned their prototypes numerous times before designing their “perfect innovative bookcase”!
It was really interesting to see what other teams built; we had the same task, but we had different ways of solving the problem. That was one of the best parts!
For extra fun at home, there is an activity you can do, which is attached to this post! :)