JHS Principles of Engineering students in Daryl Damcott’s class recently put their design skills to work in a Cardboard Coffee Table Challenge. Students were given a design challenge to create a low-cost, environmentally-friendly coffee table. The tables had to be designed so they could be shipped in a flat box, made from cardboard and had to be able to support a minimum weight of 50 lbs using the lease amount of material as possible. The student-created coffee tables construction far surpassed the goal. Final team weights were:
Maddie Pinciaro, Zach Eklum, Abu Latif – 1,100lbs
Robert Baum, Ben Swanson, Bobby Rew – 1,000 lbs
Rachael Goff, Eddie Merwick, Dan Benson – 985lbs
Students were introduced to the 12-step design process through the project. Each design team was responsible for all facets of the design process including historical research, design, drawing, dimensioning, decision-making, marketing research, planning, construction, testing, revisions, data collection and product presentation. Each team kept detailed work logs along with the final design journal. Students not only designed, built, and tested the products, but they also figured out cost analysis of materials usage, production costs and shipping costs to determine a final market price in order to determine final profit margins.
Students used a combination of SolidWorks and AutoCAD technology to produce working drawings. Construction was done using hand tools and a few machines from the shop.
“Classes like Principles of Engineering allow students to apply the principles that they learn in math and science classes to real-life situations,” said Mr. Damcott. ” Additionally, students are getting a preview into what the engineering profession involves.”