But yesterday was Wednesday, which temporally contained the final event of the first annual Philadelphia Engineering/Math Challenge! Students from six Philadelphia schools all came down to Drexel University for an engineering challenge and a math quiz. I was a judge for the engineering challenge and all-around stuff-doer. The challenge itself was to build a basic speaker out of paper plates, copper wire, and neodymium magnets. We supplied an instruction manual which described how to build such a speaker, but we encouraged modifications to the design, especially since we handed out a variety of construction materials.
These junior MacGyver’s, all had very interesting ideas on how different constructions would affect the sound and how to manage an engineering team. Boy’s Latin, in my opinion, had the best team strategy. Being that thy were one of the larger groups, they split their numbers into two sub-groups that would take each other’s design choices and go a different way. What made this strategy strong was that they were able to test lots of designs, and focused their theories on being better than their comrades.
Here are students from the Academy at Palumbo explaining to me their engineering descisions.
As well the students entered their solutions to a PoW and made videos PoWs of their own.
All in all, it was loads of fun and I think the student-engineers would say so too.
In other news, I’m breathing life into the long lifeless AskDrMath twitter. I’ll be posting semi-daily tweets featuring great posts from the Ask Dr. Math set to themes like Fundamentals Friday and Topology Tuesday. I’m also training to become an actual real life math doctor! I’ll post more about that as I train and answer questions.