UMR freshmen engineering students are hoping to encourage recycling and raise environmental awareness while also learning hands-on design techniques.
The students created devices that crush aluminum cans, remove the tab and place both into separate containers meant for recycling. The students will test their can-crushing inventions during a design competition on Monday, Nov. 25.
Approximately 400 students, divided into groups of five, have been working all semester to design and build the devices. The project is an effort to introduce applied instruction to students as early as possible in their college experience. UMR requires first-year engineering students to take Engineering Design With Computer Applications, a hands-on course which culminates with this design contest at the end of each semester. The design or construction project varies from semester to semester.
"This course is important because it gives freshman engineering students a chance to work with other students having different strengths, backgrounds and interests," says one of the instructors for the course, Dr. Nancy Hubing, associate professor of basic engineering. "Early in the semester, we form student teams that are as diverse as possible in terms of skills, experience and problem-solving approaches. Practicing engineers in industry often work closely with people from other disciplines, so this course serves as an important introduction to interdisciplinary teamwork."