Hitting a 5-gallon bucket from 20 feet with a ping pong ball requires dexterity and a sharp eye. Designing a machine to do it, requires engineeering.
Douglas High School science, technology, engineering and mathematics students participated in a building contest hosted by GE’s Leaders of Tomorrow.
Each team of students were given $25 from Home Depot to buy materials for their machine. GE’s Bently Nevada engineers mentored students, helping to build and test their devices.
“We thought this was a great way to engage with local students with technology and provide real, hands on mentorship,” said Eric Butterfield, engineering leader for GE’s Bently Nevada product line. “We had five teams comprised of several students and GE mentors. All of the teams demonstrated innovation and did a great job. All of the teams implemented versions of the classical catapult with many different methods used to generate the potential energy in the throwing arm. But it was the winning team that demonstrated the most innovation by using a twisted rope to give the torsional force for the launcher.”
The winning team, named “The Winners,” presented their device on Feb. 20 to an audience of GE employees and members of the Douglas High School administrative staff.
The event was held in conjunction with GE Oil & Gas’ 2014 Engineering Week. Engineering Week is an annual event honoring innovation and the engineering team within the global GE business.