Clemson University Feature Stories

Blowin’ in the wind

Senior mechanical engineering students used their design skills for a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) outreach project with area elementary schools.The fall CEDE (Clemson Engineering Design Expo) event on Friday, December 9th created a storm of excitement and enthusiasm as senior mechanical design students displayed the results of their semester’s work.
CEDE 2011 focused on projects from the ME 401 class, in which student teams designed, built, and delivered functional wind tunnels as educational platforms for the fourth grade classrooms at Greenville’s East-North Street Academy, and the fifth grade classrooms at Six Mile Elementary.
Nearly 200 elementary students joined the eight teams of seniors in the atrium of Clemson’s Engineering Innovation Building for the first public exhibition and testing of the 8 wind tunnel designs. Excitement was “in the air” as each group of students discovered the unique aspects of each design and prototype.

This course is a precursor for the senior design capstone course (ME 402) in which students solve problems from industry. “This course sequence, 401 and 402, serves as capstones for our undergraduate students’ educational pursuits and cornerstones for their professional careers,” explains Joshua D. Summers, associate professor. “Students bridge the gap between classroom theory and real-world applications of their knowledge and skills.”

The Clemson Engineering Design Expo received the Mechanical Engineering Service Faculty Fellowship Award and was recently recognized with the 2011 Innovision Innovation in Education award. CEDE is an exemplary approach that shows how innovative pedagogy provides both learning opportunities for college students and direct service and learning for elementary schools.