The first year of engineering at Youngstown State University is a time for STEM students to experience, research, and test out engineering. The first semester combines a number of classes teaching the basics of engineering.
Students during the first semester take the mathematics and engineering courses that are the necessary building blocks to the next four years of their undergraduate degrees. In these courses they learn to do research, compile the data, and then put it to use.
First-year engineering students are introduced to the main concepts of engineering, and then they have to use those concepts in a major project with a written and oral report. Over the fall semester, the students have put their engineering concepts to work in two major projects: the edible cars and the putt-putt course.
The edible cars were a project in which the students had to create a car with all the components being edible. The three person teams were then judged on speed, distance, and creativity, in addition to their written and oral reports. Approximately fifty students participated in this event.
The second project the first-year engineers had to complete was a mini-golf course. The course had to have a change in elevation, bends, and some sort of obstacle. Using AutoCAD, the students had to develop their courses before they could golf a couple rounds. The students presented their projects to Dr. Kerry Meyers, their first-year engineering professor.
Meyers said that she loves the enthusiasm the students put into their projects. “They go above and beyond [in their projects] when they are excited,” she said.
Stay tuned next semester as the first-year engineering students start another project for the OH WOW! The Roger & Gloria Jones Children’s Center for Science and Technology.