Eureka Girls Build and Test Bridges with BCT PhD Students

Eureka Girls Build and Test Bridges with BCT PhD Students

BCT Ph.D. Candidates Carl Fiocchi, Nariman Mostafavi, and Soroush Farzinmoghadam sponsored a session for “Eureka” which is on campus for the month of July. Eureka is a fantastic program where young women are exposed to opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math. In this session, “Why Buildings don’t Fall Down – Building with Macaroni” the girls, Eureka Scholars, viewed a presentation on buildings and bridges - elegant, strong, and safe; worked through a statics lecture solving a simple equilibrium problem, reviewed a vocabulary list of some structural terms and forces, and learned some of building techniques and strategies (with Macaroni). They then built a macaroni bridge and tested its response to greater and greater loads until finally the structures failed or in some cases until they started to fail as some girls wanted to keep their models. Some bridges were pretty darn robust --- check out the photos! You can find more images on our Facebook page....
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Schreyer introduces elementary school kids to 3D printing

Schreyer introduces elementary school kids to 3D printing

Often called the third industrial revolution, digital-based manufacturing and especially 3D printing is a technology that can enable easy (home-)production of various consumer and industrial goods. To demonstrate this technology to the next generation of designers and engineers, BCT Program Director Alexander Schreyer brought our 3D printer to Amherst's Wildwood Elementary School. As part of the fourth- and sixth-grade IT curriculum (led by "Mr. T", Trevor Takayama), he first demonstrated how to create printable 3D models and then let the students 3D print some of those. Many students had already designed objects using the freely available Tinkercad web app. As the images show, the 3D printer proved to be a popular addition to the classroom. All kids also took home a small 3D-printed key tag with the "WW" letters on them. In the time since this visit, the Amherst Regional School District has purchased its own 3D printer and is working on integrating it permanently into the IT curriculum. (All images by...
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BCT students involved in energy assessment of local food co-op

Together with BCT faculty member Ben Weil, several energy auditing BCT students participated in the project mentioned below. They conducted a thermographic scan and pressure test of the building and will be calibrating an energy model to allow the co-op to size a heating system that will primarily use waste heat from the refrigerators and the freezers. QUABBIN HARVEST ZERO NET ENERGY BUILDING GRANT February 25, 2015 The Massachusetts Pathways to Zero grant program of the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources has approved the application from the North Quabbin Community Food Coop for funding a Zero Net Energy Design.  Quabbin Harvest, a community based grocery store is, by nature, an energy intensive operation.  A zero net energy building is very energy efficient produces what little energy it does consume through on-site renewable energy (over the course of a year). The task is to find ways to operate both the building and the store without any extra energy that would normally be required from traditional sources. "Massachusetts is supporting...
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Hoque and Weil participate in another successful Eureka! summer

Hoque and Weil participate in another successful Eureka! summer

BCT faculty Ben Weil and Simi Hoque participated in this summer’s Project Eureka! a partnership between CNS and Girls, Inc. of Holyoke to provide STEM education to middle and high school girls from underrepresented communities. Ben taught a workshop on energy conservation in the built environment and Simi organized a tour of the zero energy Mill building in Holyoke and a workshop about passive design. This is the second year that BCT faculty have volunteered to teach building construction and technology concepts to Eureka! scholars. Peggi Clouston offered workshop during the inaugural summer (2013) on bridge design. Both Governor Deval Patrick and Senator Elizabeth Warren have recognized the program and thanked the faculty during their visits for volunteering their energy and time in this vitally important project. Links: Story on Deval Patrick's visit Story on Masslive about Senator Elisabeth Warren's visit ...
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