Look all around you. What do you see? What are you using to read this right now? Chances are some sort of fancy electronic. A more broad term for that is technology. Technology is anything that makes a task easier. Engineers are responsible for all of the technology you see around you. At Mishawaka, off in a corner of the main floor, lies a little kingdom ruled by a single family. I am of course talking
about the Engineering department, lead by uncle and nephew Mr. Modlin and Mr. Modlin. The Modlin’s are trying to teach the next generation of engineers in a multitude of classes including Computer Aided Design (CAD), Principles Of Engineering (POE), Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM), Engineering Design and Development (EDD), and many more. While the freshman classes are simply getting used to various engineering programs, upperclassmen get access to fun machinery such as a 3D printer, Lathe, and different molding/sculpting materials so that they can bring their ideas to life.
Currently, the CIM class is 3D printing a mold and using injection molding to create a fishing lure that they will then take down to the river and see what they can catch. The EDD class actually is two different classes by the same name. One is the all-too-famous car class, the other is working on year-long projects for the Nanoline competition held by Phoenix Contact. The goal of this project is to use a kit that the students receive with different hardware and try to solve a problem with it.
The EDD class has so many students that they were able to split into three teams with three different projects. One team is trying to create an automatic irrigation that captures rainwater and waters crops when needed. Another group is trying to help solve one of the many problems bees are facing right now. In order to do this they plan to automate an invention which is called The Flow Hive™. By doing this the bees will not be disturbed when the honey is ready to be harvested, resulting in fewer bee deaths per harvest. The final team is trying to create a better attendance system for the school. It involves Near Field Communication (NFC) in order to save the teachers from the stress and time wasting that taking attendance can cause.
This is sure to be an exciting year for the engineering students, full of opportunity to learn, try new machines and hopefully win some awards. So next time you see an engineering student ask them how their project is going, and if you are not technically-inclined maybe ask them to give the simple version.