Mechanical Engineering Lab, October 4, 2014

On Saturday October 4th, 27 9th, 10th and 11th graders from Northeast High School traveled down to Penn’s Detkin Laboratory to learn about what it’s like to study engineering from Penn undergraduate students. The three hour session was the first of an eight week program put together by Access Engineering, a new volunteer organization at Penn. The theme of the week was mechanical engineering presented to the high school students in the form of a design challenge. The challenge involved designing a catapult with one piece designed by the students from scratch. They used the 3D modeling program SolidWorks to design the lever arm of their catapult. While designing their part, the students had to consider many factors including ensuring the part would interface with the rest of their design, maximizing effectiveness and minimizing materials costs, three factors applicable to the engineering process in general. The pieces they designed will 3D printed in preparation for the design completion taking place during the next Access Engineering lab on October 18th.