Going from Media Tech to Engineering

So last semester I finished the last module for Media Tech which was videography. I really liked doing the modules for Media Tech because it was fun learning the different stuff that the Media Tech pathway has to offer. This 6 weeks, I moved into the engineering pathway. The modules for this pathway are, mechanical systems, automation and robotics, computer automated drafting, 3D printing, construction and fabrication basics, materials, and computer science.

The first challenge was to interview someone who is in the engineering field. We interviewed Rachel. She talked about some of the challenges of this class which was coming up with new and innovative designs and finding ways to implement them. She talked about what she enjoys the most about engineering which is learning new things and solving problems/issues with a design. She then talked about why she choose this pathway. She made engineering sound like an interesting class. I’m not really sure if I want to take engineering but it sounds like a fun class.

The second challenge, which was a group challenge, was to make a bridge. The bridge could not be longer than 16 inches, the maximum height was 4 inches and the maximum width was 4 inches. The bridge had to be built with only toothpicks, glue, and string. This challenge was more like a competition. The bridge that can hold the most weights, wins. The one who wins becomes the current winner until someone else beats them, then they become the current winner.

Before we started building, we had to do a sketch of how we wanted the bridge to look like. It didn’t really turn out how we wanted it to be but it was mostly because we had a lot of trouble getting the toothpicks to stay glued together. So when we started building, we decided to make bundles of 5 toothpicks so that the bridge can have more support. It took a while to make these bundles but we finally made enough to build the bridge. We started with making two sticks that were 16 inches long with the bundles of toothpicks. That was for the bottom part of the bridge. Then we made triangles with two bundles of toothpicks each so that we can put it on the bridge. I was getting really frustrated with building the bridge because the toothpicks wouldn’t stay glued together so it kept on falling apart. We were running out of time so we decide to change it. We took the bundles of toothpicks and put them in between the two sticks we had. Then we wrapped the whole bridge with string. It ended up looking like a ladder. We didn’t get to test out the bridge but it turned out better than what I thought it would be.

   While I was doing this challenge, I realized that building stuff is just not for me. I got really frustrated while I was doing this because things weren’t going as good as I thought they would go. I think this is what engineers feel when they invent something but then it goes wrong so then they have to do a lot of work to fix it. I guess it was fun doing something different than just going around with a camera. I got to see how its like to be an engineer and what its like to go through some of the challenges engineers face.

– Monserrat G.

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