We are a subgroup of EWB-UWS (UW Seattle chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB)) working on the Intro to Engineering Science Kits project, wherein our goal is to create an educational activity to encourage the exploration of engineering and sustainability as a major or career. Our target audience is underrepresented socioeconomic high school students particularly in south King County. This project will also allow EWB members to apply and share their interdisciplinary engineering education, while taking initiative in increasing social equality among the community.
Education and outreach
We partnered with Lindbergh High School, in Renton, to design a kit that would provide an engaging hands-on component to their CTE (Careers in Technical Education) curriculum. It is centered around sustainability as students will learn about the generation of renewable energy. We aim to deliver approximately 10 kits total, for teams of 3 students each. These kits will let students experience the engineering design process, from idea to prototype to finished product. While learning both technical and soft skills, the students will design and build a mini wind turbine.
The technical skills and concepts include, but are not limited to: the relationship between motors and generators, reiterative design, testing, simple circuitry, basic 3D modeling and printing, safe usage of machine shop tools, and the importance of sustainable energy sources and materials. The soft skills include teamwork, leadership, compromise, communication, and adapting to critique.
EWB as a whole strives for sustainability in all of our projects, and we want to lead by example. We plan on incorporating compostable, reusable, and/or recyclable materials, such as testing out biodegradable filament, wood, and cardboard. Furthermore, the majority of each kit will be reusable for future classes. In terms of education related to sustainability, our kits will be teaching students about the importance of sustainable material sourcing, renewable energy, and sustainable design.
Student involvement, feasibility and accountability
Our club is a multidisciplinary group of students and faculty advisors with a variety of experience, from freshmen to graduates. Our student-led organization has personally designed and implemented many projects, such as The Sol Station, a device that charges phones with solar energy, and the Population Health Building’s Rainwater Display, a display that tracks sustainability in rainwater.
We will actively be involved in outreach, researching materials, designing, budgeting, manufacturing, and most importantly, delivering these engineering kits. This project will give members experience in sustainable designing, but also help our members gain and polish their technical engineering skills, as well as important soft skills such leadership, communication, teamwork, time management, and problem solving.
We have access to an interdisciplinary and skilled team, experienced engineering faculty, and Lindbergh High School’s machine shop teacher. Using a design by Popular Mechanics1 as a base model for our plans, we feel confident that designing and manufacturing the kits are both attainable goals. We will be adapting the design for indoor use, and simplifying the design to make it easier for the less-experienced high school students.
Our budget will be dedicated to purchasing materials for prototyping and all of the components of the kits so that we are able to provide this valuable hands-on experience free of charge to the students. This is important as our target audience is a lower income school, with limited resources and funding dedicated to exploring the STEM field and/or emphasizing the importance of sustainable actions.
The current timeline (based on campus reopening in spring quarter) would be to finalize the wind turbine schematics and design (including getting feedback from Lindbergh HS) by the end of winter quarter 2021, finalizing the kit design and assembling the kits by the end of spring quarter 2021, and delivering the kits by fall 2021. In winter quarter, our team will polish their CAD software skills, which will be used to create a 3D, digital representation of all the specific components of the wind turbine, and how these parts are to be put together. After designing the schematic and CAD model, we will move on to ordering the parts and physically testing our designs. If campus is still closed, one member will be in charge of recieving the physical parts and building the prototype. Otherwise, we will do the testing together as a group. In spring quarter, we will work on the design and learning experience of the kit, including teaching materials. We will order more parts and assemble all 10 kits together as a group*. We plan on completing and delivering the kits by the beginning of next school year when hopefully there will be in person classes again.
*This timeline is dependent on the situation with COVID - if online classes are extended, assembly of the kits will be pushed back to until we are allowed back on campus.
Alex Amimoto (Project Lead)- firstname.lastname@example.org
Naomi Chau (Project Lead)- email@example.com
Joe Wang (Local projects director)- firstname.lastname@example.org