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Becoming Proficient in Engineering and Design Principles

Students Building Catapults in the Principles of Engineering class thumbnail208878
Students Building Catapults in the Principles of Engineering class thumbnail208879
Students Building Catapults in the Principles of Engineering class thumbnail208880
Students Building Catapults in the Principles of Engineering class thumbnail208881
Whether building structures with their hands or using computers, Bayport-Blue Point High School students are learning advanced engineering and computer principles through an array of offered technology classes.

In Mike Becker’s Principles of Engineering class, students recently learned to make catapults. After learning how each of the classroom’s machines work, the students were given 12 feet of linear material, two dowels and a bungie chord with fasteners. Using a hand drawing for design, they built the frame of the catapult and used a computer automated design program to design the cradle. The cradle was then printed using the Tinkercad program on one of the school’s 3D printers.

“This is a combination of old school building and new school CAD,” Mr. Becker explained. “It allows for customization of the catapult they are building.”

The Principles of Engineering course gives students the opportunity to develop skills and understand course concepts through project-based learning by placing the student in the role of an engineer with a problem-solving mindset.

In the Design and Drawing for Production course, also taught by Mr. Becker, students learn to depict two and three-dimensional spaces using traditional drafting techniques. The students have been working on the design of a house, represented in quarter scale and depicting floor plans and elevations of the homes’ designs. The students had to consider the style of the house, the types of siding, whether the elements were up to code and what each side of the house would look like.

Mr. Becker explained that Design and Drawing for Production offers a brief introduction to AutoCAD or computer aided drafting, for those students who would like to continue taking the Computer Aided Design/Architectural Design class the following year. In the CAD/Architectural Design class, students turn their drafting ideas into working models through the process of 3D design, 3D printing and engineering. They also expand their knowledge of the skills learned in Design and Drawing for Production in the areas of modeling, engineering, architecture and problem-solving. Using the Chief Architect program, students have been designing a simple two-bedroom, one story house or a two story home with an A frame.

“These courses provide knowledge and skills that the students will use in high school and for the rest of their lives,” Mr. Becker said.
Bayport-Blue Point Eagle