Local students shine in engineering - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Local students shine in engineering

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CLEVELAND, TN (WRCB) -

From model airplanes to light-weight solar-powered cars, students at Cleveland High School have put their basic knowledge of engineering to the test.

The latest project for this year's class was to design and build a small underwater ROV, or Remotely Operated Vehicle. Instructor Wade Jackson presented the challenge.

"What we ended up doing was putting the two pylons in the pool and then seeing if they could come up with a vehicle that could do a figure eight," explains Jackson.

Additionally they had to make the ROV come back to the surface.

It sounds easy but there's a lot involved. Students had to team up to brainstorm design ideas, diagram the designs using computer software, and make lists of materials. Then came the splicing, soldering, gluing, and finally hooking up the intricate wiring properly. This was the hardest part for sophomore Joseph Martin.

"You have three different switches and you have to jump the electricity to each of them and you have three wires going onto one prong that's probably about that size" says Martin as he holds his thumb and forefinger very close together.

But after some trial and error his team had that "a-ha moment" to last a lifetime.

"When you first plug up the motor and see that they [the propellers] actually ran and how fast they actually ran, it was pretty cool," admits Martin.

"When they hit that switch and that motor starts turning. It works! And it's just great to see that," adds Jackson.

Sophomore Heidi Barringer is following in her siblings' footsteps by taking the class and wants to see more "girl power" in the sciences.

"Colleges, they really want female engineers because they're so scarce," realized Barringer.

She says patience and teamwork, skills that translate into everyday life, made her team's project a success.

"Finally seeing it in the water and working and moving. That we did that," says Barringer. "We were able to make it work."

Principles of Engineering, an honors class at Cleveland High School, has been around for about ten years, but it's Jackson's first year teaching it. He says he couldn't be more proud of or amazed by his students and how they've passed with flying colors.

"I'm just so proud of all these guys for stepping in and doing it," states Jackson.

Jackson went on to say that with future additional resources, like a 3-D printer, he wants to propose even more challenging projects. He will lead the new Engineering Club beginning next school year.

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