News Release Details

4/18/2014

EAC holds 10th annual Engineering Day

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By Lori Dugan

Thatcher, AZ— Eastern Arizona College’s Engineering Department recently hosted its 10th annual Engineering Day. The event was co-sponsored by Freeport McMoRan, the National Science Foundation, and the EAC Engineering Club and was attended by high school students from all over southeastern Arizona including first-time attendees St. Johns and Benson high schools.

Freeport donated all of the t-shirts and prizes that were given to the students and twelve Freeport engineers volunteered their time to help with the events and to provide mentoring.

“The students from the Engineering Club really ran the show,” said EAC engineering instructor and coordinator of the event, Tom Palmer. “They designed the contests, ran the competitions and scored all of the events. They worked very hard and I really appreciate their hard work.”

Students were assigned to teams as they arrived, often comprised of students from other schools. “In the real world, you don’t get to choose who you work with, so we thought this would be a good way to learn teamwork,” said Palmer. After the initial discomfort of meeting new people, the students worked together and enjoyed getting to know their peers from other schools. “It was great to see that several of the winning teams had students from 3 or 4 different schools on them,” said Palmer.

The Soda Straw Bridge Contest tests students’ ability to work as a team, utilize a limited amount of resources, and solve a problem in a limited time frame. Teams build a bridge that will need to support an applied load using only soda straws and straight pins. The first place winners were David Kirk from St. Johns High School, Eva Duncan from Ft. Thomas High School, and Grant Wearne and Xavier Sturdevant from Duncan High School. The second place team included Bryttani Mooney and Josh Palmer from Thatcher High School, Tyler Delao from Duncan High School, and Conrad Klindworth from Safford High School.

The K’Nex Water Tower Competition involves the construction of a water tower. The goal of this competition was to construct a tower designed to hold a 2-liter water bottle. The tower must be free-standing and hold the required weight for a minimum of one minute without collapsing. The winners of this team exercise were Dustin Friend and Robert Williams of Morenci High School, Ryan Simpson of Safford High School, and Kevin Griffin of Thatcher High School. The second place team included Bryttani Mooney and Josh Palmer from Thatcher High School, Tyler Delao from Duncan High School, and Conrad Klindworth from Safford High School.

The Egg Drop Competition involves dropping an egg from a height of 16 feet onto solid concrete. The primary objective is to construct a device that can protect the egg, with the secondary goal of constructing the most cost-effective device.

The first place winners were Samantha Ferrin, Shane Skinner, and Kade Kartchner, all from Thatcher High School. The second place winners were Dustin Friend and Robert Williams of Morenci High School, Ryan Simpson of Safford High School, and Kevin Griffin of Thatcher High school.

The Engineering Day Bridge Design Contest is based on the West Point Bridge Design contest offered by the US Military Academy. The purpose of this contest was to design a bridge, using the West Point Bridge design software. A successful design needed sufficient strength for a loaded truck to cross the bridge without collapse. “As with most real-world engineering problems, there is not a right and a wrong way to build this bridge,” explained Palmer. The first place winner in this individual competition was Kevin Griffin from Thatcher High School. The second place winner was Nathan McMaster, also from Thatcher High School.

The extremely challenging Brain Teaser Quiz is designed to challenge students mathematically and to test their logical reasoning under time pressure. It consists of twenty problems that must be answered in a limited amount of time. The winner of the quiz was Kendra McCabe from Fort Thomas High School. The second place winner was Garrett Younger from Thatcher High School.

The overall first place individual winner was Kevin Griffin from Thatcher High School. The second and third place winners, both from Safford High School, were Ryan Simpson and Conrad Klindworth, respectively.

“St. Johns and Benson high schools were first time attendees to Engineering Day this year,” said Palmer. “Ms. Lynette Burdick, the Physics instructor at St. Johns High School, was my high school physics teacher! She’s one of the big reasons that I pursued engineering as a career. It was great to see her and see that she continues to inspire students to chase their dreams.”

For information about next year’s EAC Engineering Day, call Palmer at (928) 428-8226.

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