If only Humpty Dumpty had engineering students instead of all the king’s horses and men.
Last Saturday, students from CEM’s Engineering Living Learning Community (ELLC) participated in the 2nd Annual ELLC Egg Drop Competition. Students placed eggs in protective constructions they built then threw them from the top of UND’s parking ramp. ELLC Faculty advisor and Assistant Professor Dr. Joel Ness calculated students’ scores based on adherence to the rules, if the vehicle fell within target zone, and creativity. Ness also awarded additional points to those who used engineering theory in their construction. After the competition, all competitors came down from the parking ramp to McVey Hall Director Abbey Lane who announced, “I have three prizes and bubble wrap for fourth place!” The winners were Kyle Scott in first place, Hannah Gombold in second, Josh Hoernemann in third, and Bridget Heiland in fourth.
Students were given a set of rules to follow when designing their “drop vehicle.” The structure must be smaller than 1’ x 1’ x 1’. No breakable or hazardous materials can be used in the construction. “Last year, everybody used parachutes or balloons and none of the eggs were breaking,” said Lane, so this year, no parachutes or balloons allowed. Finally, the egg must be placed in the drop vehicle at the start of the event, not prior. After following all these rules, students had the opportunity to gain bonus points if 1) their structure is reusable and functional after the 1st fall and 2) if their structure can protect more than one egg at a time.
ELLC (McVey Hall floors 3 and 4) provides an advantageous community for first-year engineering students. Students have access to in-hall tutoring and on average receive a higher GPA than engineering students living elsewhere. Lane says being surrounded by RAs and peers who take the same or similar classes gives students easy access to assistance and helps to build community. In addition to the student community, ELLC coordinates monthly dinners with Engineering faculty and staff. These events and others outside the classroom setting allow students to network with their teachers on a more personal level.