Pictures from our Ed+gineering activities during the Spring 2023 Semester.
On April 4th 2023, more than 80 5th grade students from Coleman Place Elementary School visited ODU for Engineering Day! Elementary students toured engineering labs, such as the RamJet Lab, a Robotics lab, a Biomechanics lab, and a Motorsports lab, learning about different products and fields of engineering. After the lab tour, undergraduate engineering students taught the children about the engineering design process and the importance of increasing diversity within the engineering field and designing products that will meet the needs of ALL people. For example, one team of engineers shared their process of designing a new door knob that can easily be opened by people with disabilities. Education students then led the children in an engineering challenge adapted from YES (Youth Engineering Solutions) where the students designed a nightlight that could meet the needs of two people sharing a room: one who likes it bright and one who likes to sleep in darkness. The elementary students investigated the ways in which different materials interact with light (e.g., reflect, scatter, absorb, transmit) then used their new knowledge to design, construct, test, and redesign nightlight prototypes. After the engineering lesson, students learned about the various aspects of college life by enjoying lunch in the Broderick Dining Commons, visiting Owen House (a residence hall), and checking out the Student Rec Center!
In Spring 2023, 12 education students in an educational technology class worked with 24 5th graders from Academy for Discovery from Lakewood School to design robotic dogs. They were assisted by 25 undergraduate engineering students in an electromechanical systems course who helped the teams work through the engineering design process to build and code mechanisms that would bring the dogs life. Using Hummingbird Bit robotics kits, the teams coded LEDs, motors, and sensors to generate a variety of actions cued by sound, light or proximity. The resulting robot dogs could do any number of tricks on command, including shake hands, turn their head, stick out their tongue, play ball, and bark. The children presented their robots on April 28th during a family showcase. A team of two 5th grade girls walked away with the Audience Choice award for their dog, “Echo” who could alert deaf owners to loud noises, like a knock at the door, by vigorously turning its head and wagging its tail.
Over 120 elementary students from Southside STEM Academy at Campostella came on a field trip to the ODU campus on April 6th! As soon as they arrived, the elementary education students from the Department of Teaching & Learning in the Darden College of Education and Professional Studies gave a tour of various engineering labs—RamJet, BAJA, Robotics lab– and planetarium. Elementary students were introduced to university life by visiting the student recreation center and dorms. After the tour, education students from the Darden College of Education and Professional Studies who were enrolled in an elementary science methods course and engineering students from the Batten College of Engineering and Technology who were enrolled in a fluid mechanics course taught engineering lessons to elementary students, based on the students’ expressed interests from the beginning of the semester. The six teams designed original engineering design challenges, which included making the fluffiest pancake, building a water slide that was safe for young children, designing a boat that holds the mosts “people,” shaping an airplane wing’s airfoil to increase lift and decrease drag, and creating a balloon submersible that is able to maintain within it a certain amount of weight.