Last month, if you walked through the lobby of Moser Hall, you would have noticed the mini-golf courses that lined the middle of the room. These projects were part of the freshman-engineering course that all engineering majors have to go through. This year, YSU STEM followed one of the groups throughout their project.
The group of engineers we followed, Team 44, developed a course that included an elevated obstacle, as well as a diversion. The project’s theme was “The Rocky Road,” and ice cream cones lined the course, causing a sweet distraction to all around.
The team consisted of freshmen Mike Sammarco and Dylan Marketich and sophomores Kevin Sergeff and Corey Rungan. Using the program SolidWorks, the team successfully developed a mini-golf course using household products that would appeal to the professionals that the groups met with.
“We began with each of us coming up with a design in our head,” said Sammarco. “We all shared our designs and picked out the one that we liked the most. From there we all sat down to get a rough design so we all could properly visualize what we were describing.”
The design process was not without its flaws. Team 44 ran into an unexpected problem when their design had extra hills on the sides. Instead of scrapping the design, the team morphed their project to include it into the design.
There were several other themes that competed for the chance to have their course appear on a real mini-golf course. There were some Quidditch players, trying to get their “golden snitch” through the rings, some Nintendo friends playing their Mario Brothers course, and some who were walking like Egyptians on their “Sands of Time” course.
The mini-golf project, along with many other freshmen engineering projects, teaches students about more than just engineering principles. “This project helped by giving [us] a problem,” said Sergeff. He continued to say it was beneficial “…working together with complete strangers to complete the task in a professional manner.”
Next semester the freshmen engineers will have the chance to work on more projects together, enhancing their knowledge base. Keep checking back to the STEM blog for their next set of projects!