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STEM I - SPARK

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Introduction to Mechanical Engineering: Design and Experimentation

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Course DatesWeeksMeeting TimesStatusInstructor(s)CRN
June 27, 2016 - July 08, 20162M-F 8:30A-11:20A and T,TH 12:15-3:05POpenMichael Miller, Gerardo Pradillo10675

Course Description

Do you want to learn what it takes to be an engineer? There are many kinds of engineers; those who specialize in building bridges, designing submarines, or building massive off-shore wind turbines. While it might be daunting to figure out what type of engineering is right for you, this class will show you many of the different types of work that engineers do.

Engineering is about applying scientific knowledge to practical applications through design skills. We believe that the best way to learn about engineering is through actually completing hands-on projects. Each class will push scientific concepts to new practical levels of application. While learning basic circuitry assembly as well as the basics of hydrodynamics, you will use high power motors to design, build and test remote-controlled hovercrafts. Your designs will be piloted in a series of comprehensive tests including an obstacle course and a drag race. Through a simple force balance analysis, you will also design and build your own straw bridge. Scientific concepts such as stress from loading and structural rigidity will be explained through computer simulations and physical construction. Finally, you will get to build a massive air vortex ring launcher and knock down paper cups at a distance, make huge soap bubbles big enough for you to stand in, and perform a mini wind tunnel experiment to study aerodynamics.

We have specifically designed this course so that you will understand what it takes to one day become an engineer or rocket scientist! The theme of “science in touch with reality” will be emphasized throughout every class, while we have as much fun as possible! In this course, you will learn that the core concepts of engineering may be applied to a wide range of environments, from underwater to the sky and beyond.

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