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Weekend students to present engineering projects

Inventions in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) will be demonstrated for the public on Saturday, June 25, at St. Catherine University, in an event called “Invent Something.” Guests will not only have a chance to test the inventions but they will also have the opportunity to vote for their favorite machine.

Education majors in the Weekend Program at St. Catherine University designed the inventions as part of their coursework in "Physics 1200: Makin’ and Breakin’: Engineering in Your World."  The inventions demonstrate what the students have learned about structures and materials, machines and mechanisms, hydraulics and pneumatics, and electricity and electronics.

The “Invent Something” event, along with the public voting, will run from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday in 202 Mendel Hall on the St. Paul campus. Recognition awards will be presented at 3:45 p.m. in six categories:

• Most Robust — Robust products perform reliably and consistently. No adjustments are required for good performance.

• Most Usable — Usable products have an intuitive feel. A user seldom needs to read directions in order to operate the product, and setting up the product for repeated operation is simple, straightforward and short.

• Most Durable/Strongest — Durable or strong products handle normal, expected weight or forces well. They do not tear or break during normal operation.

• Most Bulletproof — Bulletproof products handle a wider range of forces or weights and can still operate or at least be reset when unexpected modes of operation are used. (No actual bullets will be used to test the products.)

• Most Aesthetic/Entertaining — Aesthetic or entertaining products appeal to some emotional response of the audience.

• Best In Show — The product performs well under a variety of tests or conditions, though it may not be the top performer in any one category.

"Makin’ and Breakin’: Engineering in Your World" was team-taught by Assistant Professor of Education Amy Tanner and Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Engineering Jenny Pavlovic, Ph.D.

For directions to St. Catherine University or for a St. Paul campus map, visit the University website.

June 21, 2011 by Melissa Kaelin

See also: Education, STEM, Students