Engineering students hold Angry Birds Challenge, gain hands-on experience

Posted January 16, 2013

Freshman in the Department of Engineering and Physics gained hands-on experience last month through an exciting, creative class project: the Angry Birds Challenge. They used their knowledge of physics to build real-life launchers like the ones in the popular mobile gaming application in which animated birds are launched across the screen. 

Dr. Kenneth Olree, director of the Department of Engineering & Physics, and Dr. Rusty Towell, chair of the department, led the project. "It's uncommon for students to be given these kinds of on-hands learning experiences this early in their college career. It is an excellent opportunity for the students to get started early," says Olree.

The project was a fun way for students to learn about modeling projectile motion through space, the conservation of energy, and the relationship between work and potential energy. Additionally, they got a chance to act as true engineers in a way that traditional coursework could not.

"The students are getting to practice what it means to be an engineer from the design of a product with constraints to a chance to test it and see how their modeling compares to real life," says Towell.

The first-year students used the AT&T Learning Studio, housed in ACU's Brown Library, to create and edit videos of their launchers. These videos were posted on the department's Facebook page to be shared with the ACU community.

"The Learning Studio has been very helpful to us in this project because they were able to provide us with equipment, software and expertise on video editing. Thanks to the Learning Studio, students could reflect on what they learned and share this with other students," says Olree.

Watch the Angry Birds Challenge video on Vimeo

See the final student videos on the Department's Facebook page



 


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