Summer update time! Take a break from all that relaxing and read on…

Today marks an important milestone: the Providence Engineering Academy’s Educational Design Project finally had all student designs approved by their clients! Mrs McLemore in the 1st Grade was able to confirm that the latest iteration of Isabelle’s pencil clip was in fact suitable for her class. We did feature Isabelle’s Mark 7 in the last update on this project. Mrs McLemore tested Mark 9 today, which had a slight modification by Mr Meadth, and mass printing has already begun.

Isabelle’s Mark 9, final and approved!

Before school ended, we had some other significant projects finish up as well. Jake took a break from building guitars to turn out a delightful middle school gear demonstration. This demonstration will show the middle school engineering elective in a very tactile way just how torque and rotational speed are traded off against each other; you can have one or the other but you can’t max out both at the same time. It should also be noted that Jake’s design was completely A-OK from when he first submitted it back in late March… it just took until May to coax such a complex shape out of our large Leapfrog printer. The science lab was littered with the debris of many failed attempts, as Mr Hurt will testify.

Jake serving up a pair of mounted meshing
gears, in a 1:3 ratio

Colby’s ionic lattice underwent some key design changes–which is all part of the lessons learned. Chief among them was swapping out spherical atoms for slightly boxier ones (it’s hard to print a perfect sphere on a flat platform). His connecting “bonds” also became completely separate in and of themselves, which also enabled us to control colors separately. In the end, Colby’s design is an eye-catching work of art, fitting no fewer than 81 individual pieces into a large crystalline cube. Mr Meadth’s addition of a simple base puts the whole thing front and centre in the Chemistry classroom, tottering on the precipitous edge of Mr Hurt’s bookcase.

Mr Hurt receives Colby’s design with a restrained show of indifference

Mounted on its end, representing a metallic lattice to all who will take notice

Josh’s design took home the prize of “largest single printed piece of plastic”, putting an Egyptian pyramid in juxtaposition with a Mesopotamian ziggurat. This hands-on manipulative is now happily abiding in Mrs Kleen’s 6th Grade social studies collection. Note how the pyramid is in two parts, to show a representation of the tunnels and chambers within.

Pyramid (gold) vs ziggurat (brown), by Josh

The pyramid pulls apart to show a small network of tunnels and chambers

While Sarah Jane already finalized her design for the Engineering Academy USB drives back in March, it was not until just recently that the designs were printed in their final colors and had the drives inserted in place. These are worth seeing.

32 GB of goodness!

Engineering Academy students can use these to help carry around their
oh-so-important computer files–in style

And finally, some news from the Future Engineers “Star Trek Replicator” competition. Three of our students entered into this competition as an alternative to the Educational Design Project. The task was to create a 3D-printable object that was food-related (but not edible… apparently that point had to be clarified).
We are very happy to say that out of scores of entrants across the nation, Tys was selected to be a top-ten semifinalist in his age division! Tys’ MCAPP was designed to allow planting and composting in a single hexagonal pot, which can then be easily tessellated for maximum efficiency in storage. The judges liked his work, and so do we! The low-resolution image is here below, but you can see the original here, and even download Tys’ model for your own 3D printer (you have one, right?).
What does MCAPP stand for, you say?  Martian Compost
and Planter Pot
Thus concludes the various projects submitted by our Engineering Academy students. We’ll finish with one more photo from the Providence 3rd Grade, taken upon receiving their class set of ten-sided dice.

More exciting things to come in the new school year!