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Class assignment challenges Engineering Academy students’ problem-solving abilities

Texas A&M Engineering Academy at Blinn-Brenham students design robots to simulate water purification

April 27, 2017

Engineering Academy StudentsStudents enrolled in the Texas A&M Engineering Academy at Blinn-Brenham recently demonstrated a variety of problem-solving strategies during a final project that asked them to simulate the sorting and delivery of antiviral agents into water wells in remote, non-accessible sites.

As part of their ENGR 112: Foundation of Engineering II course taught by Dr. Jacques Richard, senior lecturer in Texas A&M University’s Aerospace Engineering Department, each student group designed and constructed an automatic round pellet dispenser to introduce antiviral agents into water wells and help stop the spread of disease. The robots that simulate the dispenser each read a bar code, then based on the information contained in the bar code, dispersed the appropriate numbers and types of pellets.

“This is a semester-long project that gives students a feel of being an engineer,” Richard said. “Many of these students are good at math, but this is an opportunity to put those lessons into action.”

The project is a big part of the students’ final grade, and includes a dispenser demonstration.

“We heavily worked on this project for a month and a half,” said Luke Gore, a freshman from Houston. “The more the group worked on the project, the better it would get.”

The robot created by Gore and his group correctly sorted 70 of 75 pellets. Students set aside time outside of class to complete the project.

“Our team dynamics were really good and we worked well together,” said Jenny Vasicek, a freshman from Austin. “My strength is coding, and each group member had a strength. It all came together well in our group.”

The Texas A&M Engineering Academy at Blinn-Brenham is offered in partnership with the Texas A&M University College of Engineering. Academy students participate in a living and learning community in which they live together in the Blinn College Park Apartments and take their first-year math, science and engineering courses together.

Texas A&M engineering courses are taught on the Blinn-Brenham Campus by Texas A&M faculty. Students who successfully complete the program are guaranteed full admission into Texas A&M, and have a strong transfer application into a degree-granting major within Look College.

For more information about the Texas A&M Academy at Blinn-Brenham, visit www.blinn.edu/teab.