EDI Fellows 2020 Summer Experience: The BIG Test

The Engineering, Design, and Innovation Fellows 2020 cohort stayed at Kiptopeke State Park (VA) to design and construct a concrete boat to hold two of them at a time.  On the third day, the Fellows mixed the concrete and let it cure for 24 hours.  On the fourth day, they tested the concrete canoe at Kiptopeke State Park.  Here is Sarah Haugh ’20 to provide insight into how the BIG test went.

On our final day, we were faced with the challenge of finding a way to get our concrete boat down to the beach. It was loaded onto Mr. Barton’s truck and taken down to the parking area by the beach where it was then put onto an ATV that could drive on the sand. We were ready to get into the water at this point because it was a very hot day. The boat was walked into the water upside down and we then flipped it, took out the foam, and began taking rides! Nik and Maguire were our official testers and were able to row around until we realized there was a small hole in the back of the boat. This caused no major issues as we just bailed it out with a bucket after each ride. When all 5 of were in it, the weight was too much for it to handle and it quickly filled with water. Overall it was a great experience to see something we spent time on, work as we wanted it to.

 

EDI Fellows 2020 Summer Experience: Frame Building

The Engineering, Design, and Innovation Fellows 2020 cohort stayed at Kiptopeke Park (VA) to design and construct a concrete boat to hold two of them at a time.  On the second day, the Fellows designed and constructed a frame to serve as a mold for their concrete canoe.   Here is Nikolas Chrones ’20 to provide insight into how the BIG test went.

At first when we were looking at the 12 foam boards that we were given to build the frame for the concrete boat we couldn’t figure out the best way to make a frame that would both be structurally sound and also large enough to hold two people. Coach Barton reminded us of the ziggurats that we built in 8th grade and we knew pretty quickly what needed to be done. We started by cutting the boards so that when stacked on top of one another it would form an upside down boat shape, then we took an orbital sander to take the edge off of the boards that we had cut. In the end we had a sturdy frame that wasn’t too small to
build our boat. To finish off our frame we put garbage bags over it so that the concrete would form in a smooth way that wasn’t too uncomfortable to sit in.

 

EDI Fellows 2020 Summer Experience: Day 2 Photo Collage

The Engineering, Design, and Innovation Fellow 2020 cohort stayed at Kiptopeke State Park (VA) to design and construct a concrete boat to hold two of them at a time.  On the second day, they kayaked around the historic WWII concrete ships sunk at Kiptopeke State Park.  The State Park Interpreter led the kayak tour and explained the history, mentioning that the ships were active in the Pacific Theater and after the war, were sunk at Kiptopeke to serve as wave breakers.  They then designed and constructed the frame for their concrete boat.  Here is a photo collage of Day 2.  

EDI Fellows 2020 Summer Experience: Cooking Meals

The Engineering, Design, and Innovation Fellows 2020 cohort stayed at Kiptopeke State Park (VA) to design and construct a concrete boat to hold two of them at a time.  During the trip, the Fellows cooked their own meals.  Here is Sarah Haugh ’20 to provide insight into how they planned and prepared the meals for the group.  

Along with the actual project, we were in charge of cooking all the meals for our trip. We were told this in the middle of May and that we had access to anything we wanted to use for these meals. A study hall was spent coming up with these meals and delegating who would cook what. When it was time to cook the first meal, we couldn’t get the stove to work. Luckily Mr. Barton came to the rescue and was able to fix it. Each meal was quite simple to prepare and we had fun taking responsibility for our meals. One meal, hot dog dinner, was cooked outside on the barbecue and it brought its own sense of challenges. Cooking our own meals gave us another thing to be responsible for and it was a good way to bring us together. 

 

EDI Fellows 2020 Summer Experience: The Kickoff and the (Unexpected) Kickout

The Engineering, Design, and Innovation Fellows 2020 cohort stayed at Kiptopeke Park (VA) to design and construct a concrete boat to hold two of them at a time.  Here is Lauren Beckman ’20 to explain how the trip started out and the morning workout.  

After our brief, yet highly eventful, travels with Dr. Vallery following behind what we thought was Mr. Call’s car followed by some EZPass issues and destination searching, we made it to our camp site lodging (aka shanty) and settled in. The shanty was quite spacious with four bedrooms, two with two bunk beds and two with two twin beds for any special guests, and two bathrooms to the left side of the gathering area and two bedrooms and one bathroom to the right. The gathering area had a kitchen where we EDIers attempted and successfully cooked meals together and a living room sort of set up. Outside the back door was a firepit and grill which provided many memories. But on the front porch and the grassy area just beyond that is where these odd materials laid… insulation and concrete and foam beads and vermiculite, plus durable foam sheets, plywood, plastic tupperware, and paddles. What exactly are we doing!?

Mr. Barton finally brings us together to tell us we’re making a concrete boat. He couldn’t be serious, yet he was! Now the task at hand was to see what ratios of different materials would be buoyant (no phones for research).

But with five growing teenagers trying to wrap each’s head around the fact that we were actually going to build a concrete boat, it figures we would be extremely hungry, especially after just making and mixing small batches of concrete by hand; therefore, we ate at a local seafood and burgers restaurant on the water, capturing some beautiful pictures and playing some cornhole. Upon finishing a scrumptious meal, we walked around to try some of Cape Charles’ best ice cream at Brown Dog Ice Cream (unfortunately it was closed by then, but we went on the last day and it was well worth it); therefore, we decided to walk on the beach, and we took some fun pictures at the “LOVE” sign with a fantastic sunset.

Then it was Day Three. The girls somewhat successfully pranked the guys. Some seemingly unreasonable hour brings the sounds of revenge with loud whistles, shouting, and “Eye of the Tiger” at full blast. What’s going on? Not revenge but Mr. Barton!? Yelling words about get up, be out on the porch in five minutes and um… WORKOUT!? Hold up! But with this came a competition: EDIers against the faculty, whoever loses makes breakfast and if the EDIers won, we got a head start on the concrete mixing in the cool early morning and didn’t have to make breakfast. The challenge: each of us run a lap and upon finishing that lap we complete ten burpees with the pushup and on the last lap the EDI ’20 cohort is to run together and complete the 10 burpees before we can be officially finished. Our advantage was being able to choose the order in which the faculty, Mr. Barton, Mr. Call, and Dr. Vallery, would run (each ran twice). The catch: all of us had to hold a plank until our turn and upon finishing our turn. At 5:15 in the morning? Yes.

Jogging up to the beach for a warm-up, we headed straight towards our fate right on the beach. Stretching. Set to plank. First student and teacher on the line. Ready, BANK! The first plank feels pretty good while the students take the lead. Ten burpees with the next student eager on the line. Faculty follows. EDIers are off, teachers just behind. This continues into the final lap, all of us worn out and exhausted; the lead has shifted from the EDIers to the teachers and back. We sprint. Keep it going. Ten final burpees. Faculty come in for the final burpees. Teamwork. Motivation. The students win!

We start heading back but not after a quick picture of us looking completely spent and watching the sun rise just over the beach.

Pre-Engineering at Kent: EDI Fellows 2020 Summer Experience, Day 5

The Engineering, Design, and Innovation Fellows 2020 cohort traveled  to Kent, CT to participate in the pre-Engineering Summer Educational Experience at Kent School program and to engage in Center for Civic and Global Leadership and EDI-specific leadership and teamwork programming.  

Blog post by Leah Smith, ’20

Friday was a very eventful day, which started off with a presentation to parents on what we had done this week. Then, we all participated in the VEX robot competition, of which Nik and Lauren’s alliance won. After that, we rounded the camp off with a hearty lunch and left for good to Hartford. At Hartford, we visited the Connecticut Science Museum in leu of waiting at the airport for five hours. Our first flight went splendidly, and though our second flight was delayed, it still went quite well. After a final meeting, we all returned home.

Pre-Engineering at Kent: EDI Fellows 2020 Summer Experience, Day 4

The Engineering, Design, and Innovation Fellows 2020 cohort traveled  to Kent, CT to participate in the pre-Engineering Summer Educational Experience at Kent School program and to engage in Center for Civic and Global Leadership and EDI-specific leadership and teamwork programming.  

Blog Post by Lauren Beckman, ’20

Last minute changes and ideas of strategy began today’s adventure in the week of SEEK. Polishing off our VEX robots in preparation for the VEX Qualifying Round and tomorrow’s competition is vital in order to have the best outcome. As we moved through the morning, we worked in Solidworks, an interactive 3D design program allowing you to realize your ideas. Soon after, we headed to lunch and commenced our midday meeting, and following our break, Stephanie, an engaging public speaker from UCONN, taught us handy presentation skills through engaging activities, while preparing us for our group presentations the following day. Finally, we ended the day with a VEX Qualifying Round, essentially a scrimmage for our VEX competition. May the most sturdy, efficient, and well-rounded robot win!

Pre-Engineering at Kent: EDI Fellows 2020 Summer Experience, Day 3

The Engineering, Design, and Innovation Fellows 2020 cohort traveled  to Kent, CT to participate in the pre-Engineering Summer Educational Experience at Kent School program and to engage in Center for Civic and Global Leadership and EDI-specific leadership and teamwork programming.  

Blog post by Maguire McMahon, ’20

Today we opened with an activity entitled The Green Car. The Green Car activity gives us the option between 3 different motors, and gave us 36 options with 3 different variables; however, many of them cause system stalls, not allowing the car to move. Tomorrow we will design the chassis in a 3D workshop/software entitled Solidworks. We will print it out and install our motor gear and wheels and race against the other alliances. Also, we went to The University of Connecticut where we learned about their Clean Environment Engineering. Some of the students showed us their own personal projects and the machinery they are using in their research. We then transitioned to the UCONN Dairy Bar where we learned how their own personal ice cream was made—taste test included! Next, we got a small tour of the campus; the tour was thankfully in our bus, so we didn’t have to stay out in the hot sun all day! After the tour, we completed the 4.5 hour round trip in a cramped bus, ate dinner, and headed back to the Pre-E building, where we worked on our VEX robots!