As the school year winds down, students from across the country are gearing up to compete in the National Engineering Design Competition.
In April, I attended the MESA Day Prosthetic Arm Competition organized by Dr. Jamie Bracey, director of STEM Education, Outreach and Research at Temple University. Dr. Bracey leads Pennsylvania Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA).
Teams of “STEMists” from seven high schools – Abraham Lincoln, Edison, Frankford, G.W. Carver, High School of the Future, Hill-Freeman World Academy and Penn Wood – competed for an all-expenses-paid trip to Utah to represent Pennsylvania in the national competition. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Their challenge was to design and build a low-cost prosthetic arm suitable for an urban environment.
The day began with inspiring keynote remarks by Ken Scott, an electrical engineer, who shared how he got started in engineering.
A lot of it is curiosity. If you like solving problem, engineering is for you. No one is better at solving problems than engineers. It’s about having the initiative to do different things. … Engineers rule the world. Everything starts with engineering.
The teams were judged on a number of tasks, distance accuracy, object relocation and dexterity, design efficiency, technical paper and academic poster presentation.
And the winner is …
Good luck to Dr. Bracey and the awesome STEMists from George Washington Carver High School.