After months of hard work and planning, the Innovation Center at Morrison Institute of Technology is open to students. One of the first classes to have the privilege of utilizing this new environment was the first semester and dual credit sections of Principles of Engineering: Projects & Concepts (DT-108). This is a completely project driven class that introduces students to aspects of different engineering technology fields, including mechanical, construction and civil engineering. Students work in individual and group settings to complete a variety of hands on projects that reinforce the topics they are studying.
For their first project utilizing the technology in the Innovation Center, students were grouped into teams and challenged to design a rubber band powered car. Students spent time brainstorming ideas and creating initial sketches of their designs. Then they took there designs to the CAD lab where they used AutoCad to create a dimensionally accurate file that could be imported into the CAM software. Students were then able to use the Laguna SmartShop EX laser cutter to cut their parts out of 5mm plywood and assemble their designs.
The classes will be holding competitions to test which design is the most efficient at being propelled by single rubber band. These competitions will be held in the Parkinson Auditorium next week with the winning design from each class being placed on display in the lobby of the Tech Center. The winning team from each class will compete for an overall champion and the right to design and laser cut an award using AutoCad and the Smart Shop EX laser cutter.
This is just the first of many exciting and challenging projects that will come out of the Innovation Center. The Innovation Center will serve a focal point of technological resources for our students, the local community and regional businesses . Innovation happens at Morrison Tech!