A big part of being in the Pre-Engineering program is that we have to take an online course
called Intro to Engineering. As a part of this online course, we have to occasionally congregate for various meeting of our choice. I happened to choose the engineering projects meeting as mine, and I was in for a real treat. Little did I know when I got there that we would actually be participating in some hands-on engineering projects, not just learning about them.
The project that we were assigned was to create a flying device that would launch a tube-balloon as far as possible. After being split into teams, we began our work. We were given just 10 minutes to build our contraption, and then we would put them to the test. After the allotted time was up, we all tested out our planes—with my team’s plane flying the farthest. The professor then stressed the importance of iterations when it comes to experiments, and gave us all new materials and told everyone to try again and improve.
My team decided to use our same method, except to crunch the balloon up into a ball, rather than our previous idea of making the balloon become the wings of the plane. The second 10 minutes came to an end, and competition number two began. Sadly my team’s plane came in second this time, and we all went back into the classroom to discuss the results.
The moral of the project was to show how, in real life situations, engineers grow from their mistakes and make their project not as a result of constant finesse, but as a result of trial and error. He then encouraged us all to apply this to all fields of our lives, to iterate our efforts, and not give up if we don’t do well the first time. As a result, we were able to use engineering and making planes, to teach a life lesson that will not soon be forgotten.