Junior Engineer Student Kevin Murano connects the red and black electric wires to complete the circuit for his device in his Science and Engineering class. Now it is time for tedious testing to make sure the timing and functions are working properly. After some extensive tweaking like adjusting the length of the string and the amount of mass that can be carried, Murano’s project is concluded and is ready to be presented through an explanation video.
Last spring, the Science Center introduced engineering as a new course: Concepts of Engineering. This fall, the second class was added: Engineering Design and Presentation. There will be more Engineering classes added in the future. Students are able to learn and develop handy skills in the Science subject while still enjoying the class.
Science and Engineering teacher Heriberto Frias sees great success in this new branch of Engineering classes.
“Twenty or thirty percent of the upper classmen who enrolled in the first class actually are coming back for a second class,” Frias said. “Meaning that even though they don’t have to take it, they’re taking it as an elective so they must have liked it.”
Frias believes that interesting projects are an effective way to promote the interest that the engineering classes included.
“Last year’s class generated a lot of excitement last year with the rocket launch,” Frias said. “I have a whole bunch of freshmen in the class this year.”
Murano enjoys the class since it requires knowledge from multiple science and math classes.
“Some parts of the course incorporate knowledge from biology, algebra, geometry, and of course some concepts of physics,” Murano said.
Murano even enjoys the restrictions put on him while working on projects. In this particular assignment, Murano had to construct an electric elevator-like mechanism.
“I really like how we just limited to straws, masking tape, string, and a block for a base,” Murano said. “That makes it really challenging but way more enjoyable.”
Junior Engineer Student Nam Dang is taking his second class. The creativity is his favorite part of the class.
“There aren’t many classes that improve your creativity skills. This is one of those classes,” Dang said. “I am able to design my project on the computers using the engineering design software. The design possibilities are endless but you have to make sure it is going to an efficient design.”
Dang has heard about the addition of more engineering classes.
“I am really looking forward to the third and fourth class,” Dang said. “I think it is going to be electronics next semester.”
Dang is passionate about the recent changes to the science center.
“They added more space in science by using the rooms across from the center. This allows for more freedom and more interesting labs,” Dang said. “The engineering classes are the best change to science by far. The classes are an amazing way to learn and try some science concepts without all of the usual book work. The best way to learn is through interactions.”