This is the final week of the Edgerton Center’s Engineering Design Workshop, a monthlong program for self-motivated high school students who design and build projects that blend science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM). Twenty students from local high schools across the country and as far as Beijing, China, are participating. The program is led by instructors Alban Cobi ’12 and Ed Moriarty ’76, with the assistance of mentors John McGoldrick ’73, Jonathon Dietz, Barry Wu, Simon Okaine ’15, and MIT junior Jacob Fisher.
In the first week, students toured the Edgerton Center machine shops, learned how to safely use machine tools, and refined their soldering skills. To prepare for the more challenging final projects that the students would assign themselves, they built a tonograph — an instrument for measuring and recording tension or pressure — based on a toy organ circuit that produces five different sounds. With this project under their belt, students let their creativity run by pitching ideas for final projects to the entire group. A hologram keyboard, a robotic hamster ball, a pendulum wave machine, and a music device powered by human gestures were just a few of the ideas bandied about. Students then formed three teams — Team Flounder, Team Lite, and Team XGPS — to pioneer their innovations.
With the goal of using interactive technology to inspire others, Team Lite built a large plywood box with a matrix of LEDs and magnetic sensors. On the surface are line-following robots with sensors that react to the magnetic sensors on the board and can turn the lights on and off.
Diving freely into uncharted territory is the mission of Team Flounder. The team has designed a wireless remotely operated vehicle that floats on water. When moved into position, the device can deploy a capsule that logs water data and collects water for further observation.
Team XGPS (eXtensible Gondola Positioning System) has built a 3-D positioning system that can show LED lights in 3-D space. Their mission is to have "fun building and learning about how to control mechatronic systems."
Members of the public are invited to watch these students demonstrate their final presentations on Friday, July 31, in Room 4-370 from 9:30 to 11 a.m.