Students Show Off Creations at HCC’s Fall Engineering Projects Night
An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated the recipients of the “Best Build Award.” The article has been updated to reflect the correct winning team.
They worked diligently since the start of the fall semester, and on December 7, 2017, dozens of engineering students from Howard Community College (HCC) had the opportunity to present their projects at the college’s bi-annual Engineering Projects Night.
Sixteen projects were on display in the lobby of the new Science, Engineering, and Technology (SET) building, with their creators standing by to explain the building process, challenges they faced, and solutions to solve them.
Projects ranged from the practical Mikey’s Trike, a customized trike for a 9-year-old boy with cerebral palsy built in collaboration with V-LINC, to the educational Swinging Bridge, a HCC Children’s Learning Center playground project funded by a PNC Bank grant.
HCC student Brittany Nixon enjoyed working on the playground project, and believes it will be a positive impact for the HCC community.
“We’re hoping it will provide a fun place for children to learn and play,” she said. “By designing this project, we are part of these children’s development. And this project helped us think about engineering in a different way.
“Instead of just thinking about going from point A to point B, we had to think about things like a child would and be more creative.”
Another project, the Rubik’s Cube Solver, was a crowd favorite at the event. The project, created by Michael Leard, Grace Bentivenga, and Thomas Cullen, was built using Lego Mindstorms, a hardware-software platform made by Lego for the creation of programmable robots. After placing a jumbled Rubik’s Cube into the “arm,” a sensor scans all of the sides, then twists and turns the block until it is solved.
The project had its problems at the beginning of the semester, but after manually adjusting alignment, resetting the software, and substituting some Lego pieces, the group had a working Rubik’s Cube Solver to show off.
“The first time I saw it solve it, I was shocked,” said Leard. “The Rubik’s Cube has been a life struggle to solve myself.”
Along with demonstrations, eight student groups presented their projects to the audience with hopes to win one of three awards, including “Best Build,” “Audience Choice,” and “Best Presentation.”
Winners of “Best Presentation” were awarded the BGE Scholarship Award, a $2,500 check to be split by the winning group to go toward tuition at HCC or a transfer institution. The winners will be invited to meet representatives of BGE for an opportunity to present their projects in a small group setting.
Awards for the fall Engineering Projects Night were presented to the following students:
The “Best Build Award” to Matthew Hairell, Zane Robinson, and Joseph Lovin, for their project, FarmBot.
“Audience Choice Award” to Justin Betz, Faisal Khan, Daniel Chukwurah, and Peter Kwon, for the Augmented Reality Sandbox.
“Best Presentation Award”, and recipients of the BGE Scholarship Award to Michael Leard, Grace Bentivenga, and Thomas Cullen for the Rubik’s Cube Solver. Darryl A. Stokes, vice president of engineering and standards for BGE, attended the event and presented the check.
View our Flickr album of the projects.