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SMILE and Mechanical Engineering  October 24th, 2013

Each year the SMILE program sponsors a Mechanical Engineering (ME) Senior Project, in which three ME students work with the SMILE program to engineer and build a engaging, educational machine that can be shared with middle school students all over Oregon.

Last year, we had a great team who bravely chose to take on this challenge. The team built a fully-functional Rube Goldberg machine that coordinated with the middle school SMILE clubs using videos about the planning and building process. The machine travelled to middle school challenge days around Oregon and students got the opportunity to interact with the machine.

This year, we are excited to work with a new group of ME students and provide new activities for our middle school students! It is our hope that your students will gain knowledge of the engineering and design process, and ultimately plan and build a machine. We also plan to have SMILE students interact remotely with our ME students as they go through their own planning and building process over the coming months. The ME students will be designing and constructing a cable machine that can be used to teach physical science concepts. SMILE students will similarly construct a motorized machine that can perform a specified task (more details to come soon). Then, at the regional Middle School Challenges in the spring, SMILE students will have an opportunity to share their machines, as well as interact with the ME students’ machine.

At the top of this page, you will notice there is a link to a page called “Mechanical Engineering Project.” We will be posting the videos from the ME students on this page, as well as small updates about their progress once they begin building. The page currently features the videos and information from last year’s ME project, and this year’s process overall will be very similar. We plan to feature questions and feedback from the middle school students for the ME students to answer in their videos and to help aid in the middle school students’¬†building process and make the experience more interactive.

Stay tuned for more information on this year’s project. Happy Engineering!