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Green Design Summer Camp

In Summer 2014, a weeklong green design summer camp was conducted at Ingram School fo Engineering. Students were recruited mainly from Miller and Good Night middle schools in San Marcos CISD to the weeklong camp. 24 students (including more than 50% female, more than 50% minority) attended the program. Topics covered included Engineering design process, Teamwork & communication skills, Artistic inspiration & creativity, renewable energy in homes, sustainable sites, water efficiency, CAD solid modeling, 3D Printing and water jet cutting, hands-on assembly

Students participated in a team based “green design” project in which they applied a variety of engineering, design, renewable energy, and architectural skills in completing their custom-design green home.

Engineering-Art research Camp

In the past few years in summer, twenty middle and high school students and one high school science teacher participated in the Engineering-Art Research Summer Camp hosted by the Ingram School of Engineering and the Department of Art and Design. The camp, coordinated and run by Texas State University-San Marcos faculty, proposed to bring together the two fields of art and engineering through the study of bridge design using industry-level software. Students were given hands-on training with software including Computer Automated Design (CAD), Ansys, Zedit, and Zcorp print software among a few others.

This project incorporated all major aspects of engineering including analysis, modeling, prototyping, and team work. Students observed a site next to the San Marcos River, measuring physical specifications such as water flow rate, depth, and width before deciding upon a particular bridge type. Students were then taught how to use Inventor Autodesk software in order to design their bridge. The bridges were then tested with simulated loads using built-in Finite Element Analysis software (Ansys) to determine the strength of the bridge. After initial strength tests, the artistic design process was incorporated as students considered texture, color, light, time and movement of their projected bridges. Their designs were then transferred to ZEdit software for the addition of color and texture. The Zcorp 450 rapid prototyping machine then created a model of their designed bridge. A presentation, including a poster, was then given by the students for each bridge.

Art design remained integral throughout the bridge-making process. “Student designs included inherent color and natural texture of the building materials to blend with the surroundings. In one pedestrian bridge, applied color to the underside resulted in a visual contrast to the stone that invites viewers to explore the underside as one would do on the river in a canoe or inner tube. Students also found creative ways to use space, such as a bridge design that provided a pedestrian overpass on two levels, one at street level and another at the river bank level. Other designs engaged the viewer by integrating a central platform space on which pedestrians can stop to reflect on the surroundings. As an engineered structure intended to promote pedestrian transportation, one bridge incorporated repetition with curvilinear shaped railings to enhance the overall form and visual movement thereby reinforcing its engineered purpose.

Because of the high quality of the projects and presentations, panel of experts unanimously decided to select all four teams as winners of this year research camp.1

At the end of the camp, students were given the opportunity to express in writing what they thought they had learned about engineering and art design through the bridge project. Here are a few of their responses:

"Engineering is a process, this process uses the scientific method throughout design."
"I learned that the engineering process takes time and is best accomplished through trial and error. Engineering allows our society to advance technologically and socially."
"I learned you really don't have to have a specialty with drawing to be good with art, you just need an image in your mind of what you want."
"I learned to listen to people's ideas and that compromises are the best way to resolve conflicts."
"This program is for students who want to learn about engineering through hands on experience."
"Art is what people will see (appeal and character) and engineering reinforces the design taking into account sturdiness, feasibility, and efficiency."

Reaching Out: Science Saturday Aims to Promote the Sciences

On February 6th, 2010 Texas State University - San Marcos hosted Science Saturday - a STELLAR II (STEM Teaching Excellence for Leading, Learning, Articulation, and Reflection) event that enriched the lives of students and teachers alike.  Our faculty is committed to the goal of the STELLAR II program: to reach out to students in the impressionable grades of K-12 and provide them with the skills they need for a future in science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM).  For this Science Saturday, San Marcos’ 5th and 8th graders in the ESL (English as a Second Language) Program and their parents were invited to learn about engineering through hands on lessons, brief lectures, and the work of our own TSU students.  Faculty members Dr. Bahram Asiabanpour, Dr. William Stapleton, Dr. Jaime Hernandez, and Dr. Gary Winek guided the young students through an exciting exploration of some fundamental aspects of engineering.

Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME)