We have having a great time doing engineering here at Sweet Briar this summer. We have 22 high school women here on campus from all over the United States, including from New Hampshire, Utah, Texas, Georgia, Florida, and of course Virginia.
The young women are working on two significant design projects, designing and building a drawing machine and designing and building a seed de-sheller that would be appropriate as tool to to increase food production in the developing world. As usual, the students have some great ideas and seem to be very engaged.
As part of the introduction to the event I did Sunday evening I made a slide outlining our philosophy for these explore engineering events. I’ve put the main points here:
1) Engaging and challenging projects that support creative thinking are a great way to learn
2) We strongly encourage you to take stuff apart, play, experiment, brainstorm, investigate, and just plain try out what you think might be interesting
3) Not EVERYTHING will work out perfectly, that is ok
4) We support you!
5) We give you time to work on your projects
6) In addition to your new knowledge and skills, the point of this course is for your team to CREATE technology based artifacts of your design that do something that you find interesting (useful, compelling, etc.)
We are looking forward to a great rest of the week. Wednesday is often the day designs really start to come together. Check back soon.