Oh Wow! offers opportunities for engineering students

On April 23, 220 Youngstown State University engineering students displayed their projects in the lobby of Moser Hall. The best voted projects from each section will become a permanent display at Oh Wow! The Roger & Gloria Jones Children’s Center for Science & Technology in downtown Youngstown.

The students worked in groups of five, commencing the task over spring break. Items permissible for use were wood, pulleys, rope, weights, screws and hooks, among other objects.

Eduardo Bustillos, a YSU engineering major, said participating in this activity was a career experience. 

“We didn’t learn much engineering in the technical sense. Instead, we got a feel for what it would be like as a career, working with a project group, like most professional engineers do,” he said.

Bustillos’ project was a box that had three systems of pulleys on the inside with ropes to each of the systems. Each system had a 3-pound weight and a varied number of pulleys. The observer pulls each rope and feels that the system with more pulleys feels like it is a lighter weight. This is due to the mechanical advantage of the pulleys.

“It would be great to have our project become a permanent display at Oh Wow! and go down in history here at YSU and at Oh Wow! This has been a very interesting project. It really lets students bring out their creativity and I am excited to see the demonstrations,” he said. 

Jack Marshall, a civil engineering major, said he is looking forward to the outcome of the demonstrations. 

“I would be really excited if our project was selected to be displayed at the Oh Wow! children’s museum. The museum does not have too many items involving simple machines,” he said.

Marshall said he believes that children who attend the museum will be interested in their group’s project.

“Our project clearly displays how implementing even the simplest mechanisms can lessen the burden on a job of any size. When the children discover young engineers constructed these exhibits, they may want to incorporate themselves in the design process if they find the winning exhibit particularly interesting,” he said.

Marshall said his favorite part of this project was the construction of the exhibit. 

“I really enjoyed the hands-on aspects of the project. I am always excited when it is time to turn the initial ideas and concepts into something tangible that displays all of our hard work and planning,” he said.