Two students from Meredith College’s Dual Degree Engineering program participated in the 18th Annual Freshman Engineering Design Day (FEDD) event hosted by North Carolina State University on Tuesday, November 21, 2017. FEDD is an end-of-semester opportunity for first-year engineering student teams to showcase their design projects and compete for awards.
Both Meredith students were on teams that placed in the competition. Ashley Nelson and her team, Dumbo’s Extravaganza, took home the crown in the water fountain category and tied for first in all categories. Rebecca Kline and the Cranking Christmas team finished third in the music maker category.
“My teammates and I are still shocked and excited about winning,” said Nelson. “We are glad to see that all of our hard work throughout the entire semester paid off.”
For the water fountains, each team had to create a fountain that had movement, included a stream of water that flowed against gravity, and incorporated an actuator.
Dumbo’s Extravaganza designed a water fountain with a circus theme where a stream of water would flow through tubing that split in two directions. One tube sent water into a water wheel that, when rotating, would build up enough energy to power a small LED light. The other tube lived inside a ceramic elephant and would shoot water from the elephant’s trunk through a “ring of fire,” or a glow stick.
“I learned valuable life skills such as teamwork and problem solving,” said Nelson. “We faced a few challenges but we were able to overcome them. We had tons of fun in the process.”
For the music makers, with a budget of $40, each team had to create a mechanical music maker that was three feet by three feet by three feet and could play 10 seconds to a minute of a song.
Cranking Christmas created a music maker that was based on music boxes. It had a large rotating cylinder with music notes arranged along the sides and a hand crank. When the hand crank was turned, the cylinder would rotate, the music notes would strike mallets, and the mallets would hit keys to produce a song. Their music maker would play Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
“I really enjoyed this experience. It was a lot of hard work, but it was very rewarding,” said Kline. “I learned a lot about the engineering design process, and how to approach a problem. I also learned a lot about problem solving. We had quite a few mishaps and design flaws in the beginning, and we had to either change our design or try to rework what we had to make it work.”