This page presents the projects for the Fall 2005 class, followed by a selection of project materials from previous classes.
During Lectures 4 and 5, students brainstormed topics for their projects. They came up with the following ideas:
Project Brainstorming List (PDF)
Beam Bending: Wood vs. Aluminum (PDF) (Courtesy of Peden Nichols, Jing Han, and Michael Johnson. Used with permission.)
A second student project, The Growth and Strength of Trees and Palms, is not available for copyright reasons.
Files are presented courtesy of the students listed, and used with permission.
The posters, slides and demonstrations below were made as part of a service learning freshman seminar. Service learning subjects incorporate a community service project into the academic learning experience. In this subject we prepared educations displays on engineering principles related to birds which we gave to the Boston Nature Center and the Museum of Science. Students working on the projects in Fall 2004: Drew Altschul, Javier Burgos, Tiffany Lee, Michael Obilade, Adele Schwab, Sira Sriswasdi and Joanna Tong.
In 2003, we studied the mechanical principles behind trees, wood, and wood products. We investigated what limits the height of a tree, the mechanics of wood, and the wood science behind musical instruments. Students working on the projects in Fall 2003: Ellen Cappo, Will Ethridge, Yushan Kim, Brian Manley, Sean Torrez and Hanhan Wang.
In 2002, we studied many of the structures found in nature. For example, why is grass skinny and hollow? Why are some leaves full of holes? Students working on the projects in Fall 2002: Anna Bruchez, Ed Lin, Randal Pope, Yao-Chung King and Janet Ryu.
Among the structures we studied were: