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Oklahoma State University

Boat Challenge 2015

Two teams are testing their electronic boats during the competition.

HKN and OSU ECE host Stillwater middle school students.

On Friday November 20, 2015 the Electrical and Computer Department (ECE) and Eta Kappa Nu (HKN) hosted 16, 6th grade students in an electronic boat building competition.  The teachers and students arrived 9:30 A.M., were treated to a pizza lunch and left 1:00 P.M.  The event was aimed at exposing these bright students to the enjoyable aspects of engineering.  It also served as a recruiting tool for ECE. 

The students of (Stillwater Middle School) teacher Mrs. Jennifer Bobo were grouped into four teams of four.   They were given kits with limited instructions and charged with building motorized boats capable of traveling, in minimum time, a 10 foot water track.  Mrs. Jenny Bobo was joined by the Science teacher Austin Brasche and student teacher Carlie Evans. 

To be selected, Mrs. Bobo had the students write essays explaining why they wanted to participate.  The 16 essay winners showed a great deal of maturity in taking the challenge seriously.  To be successful they had to correctly construct an electric circuit that permitted the motor to be controlled by a light sensor.  It was a real engineering experience, where, given constraints, they had to design a boat, construct a working electric circuit and build an effective propeller. 

Many thanks go to the HKN members who assisted the students in their first engineering challenge.  Thanks go to Mrs. Bobo for making the event a valuable one for the students and last but not least, the amazing 6th graders who built boats that achieved amazing fast times including the winning time of 8.55 seconds. 

As a result of the unqualified success of the event, it is likely that the OSU-Stillwater Engineering Design Challenge is destined to expand and become an annual event.