Future engineers seek global environmental solutions
Release Date: 06-19-2008
A total of 127 high school students from Vermont, the rest of the U.S., and around the world including China, Korea, India, Pakistan, Scotland, and France will explore how technology impacts society while working on one of four engineering projects during the 2008 UVM/GIV Engineering Institute, June 28 through July 5.
Students enrolled include recipients of The Global Challenge awards. The Global Challenge is an National Science Foundation (NSF) program that aligns U.S. students with students from all over the world to work in teams to develop unique and promising solutions to global issues.
The projects include aeronautical engineering, renewable energy systems (biomass/wind/solar), robotics, and sustainable engineering. "These hands-on projects provide students with skills and knowledge that is ideally suited to prepare them for engineering and computer science education at UVM," says Domenico Grasso, Dean of the UVM College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences (CEMS).
This Institute is one of seven Governor's Institutes of Vermont. The Engineering Institute provides students with information about engineering from UVM faculty and engineering research presenters, as well as through tours at IBM, General Dynamics, Goodrich, McNeil Generation Plant, NRG, Winooski Hydro, Chittenden Solid Waste Recycling Center, Burlington City Market, and the UVM Davis Recycling Center.
Students doing research
Each student will be part of a team of four and will create prototypes and posters of research findings that will be presented at the Project Exhibition to be held at the University Mall in South Burlington on Saturday, July 5, from 10am to 3pm. This engineering exhibition is free and open to the public.
Students in the Aeronautical Engineering Project will build prototype atmospheric probes using parachutes, small balloons, and helicopter principles. Probes will be launched with the goal of falling to the earth as slowly as possible, gathering data along the way. Students will also participate in a demonstration by General Dynamics and a presentation by Goodrich.
The Robotics Project students will design robots that can perform surveillance, food delivery, land mine detection, and earthquake survivor location detection. They will also see robotics at work at IBM in Essex Junction.
Students enrolled in the Renewable Energy Systems Project will examine different energy systems (solar, wind, biomass) and will participate in tours of NRG in Hinesburg,VT, Winooski Dam and the McNeil Generation Plant in Burlington. Students enrolled in this project will also work with Project Porchlight to distribute more than 3,500 free compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs to households in Burlington and Winooski, empowering these communities to save money and to significantly reduce greenhouse emissions. Project Porchlight's goal is to deliver 36,000 CFL bulbs to households in Burlington, Colchester, Essex, Essex Junction and Winooski by the beginning of August. Nearly two million dollars in energy bills will be saved as a result of this effort.
Finding alternative packaging and examining how products are manufactured will be the goal of students in the Engineering Sustainability Project. Manufacturing and packaging contribute to solid waste issues globally. Tours include Burlington City Market, Chittenden Solid Waste District and the UVM Davis Recycling Center.
All students will create sand arches at Sandbar Beach in Milton. The arches will be judged based upon height, width and span.
Student Recognition Ceremony
UVM CEMS faculty members Mike Rosen and David Gibson will recognize student research projects with certificates for: Sustainability, Benefit to Humanity, Best Design, Cost Benefit, and Communications. Students will also be recognized for written Technocratic Oaths that reflect life purpose as well as for Best Poetry, reflective of their experience in the UVM/GIV Engineering Institute.
The Student Recognition Ceremony will take place Saturday, July 5, from 7 to 9 pm, at UVM's Marsh Life Science Building.