Hundreds of Tulsa-area elementary through high school students will test their boat building skills at Oklahoma State University-Tulsa’s Engineering Design Challenge on Thursday, Feb. 23.
“The Challenge allows us to combine science and engineering education in a fun environment,” said Dr. Carl Latino, OSU associate professor of electrical engineering. “Each team is presented with the simple problem of building the fastest boat. It’s interesting to see the creative solutions the students come up with using the same materials.”
Held during National Engineering Week, the Challenge teams up students to design, build and race a self-propelled watercraft. Led by the OSU-Tulsa engineering faculty, the challenge provides an opportunity for students to apply basic principles of engineering design, problem-solving and teamwork.
“Teams have to try to maximize thrust while minimize drag to produce a competitive boat,” said Latino. “To be successful they have to take into consideration stability, propeller design, buoyancy and more. Many teachers have taken the design challenge model and incorporated it in their classroom.”
The timed races are conducted in 10-foot long, water-filled PVC “half pipe” race tracks in the Main Hall Commons at OSU-Tulsa. Awards are given in categories such as fastest boat, aesthetics and teamwork.
Volunteers will assist teams during the design and construction phases, providing helpful hints and generally assisting all aspects of the construction process.
The Engineering Design Challenge at OSU-Tulsa is sponsored by Spirit Aerosystems of Tulsa.
Founded in 1951 by the National Society of Professional Engineers, National Engineers Week was created to raise awareness of the contributions of engineers and to promote recognition of the importance of engineering.
To learn more or to register for the Engineering Design Challenge, visit www.osu-tulsa.okstate.edu/engineeringdesignchallenge.