MEEM trains budding engineers through fun and games

Regina Lau

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In a workshop organized by the Department of Manufacturing and Engineering Management (MEEM), 20 to 22 July, 38 secondary school participants learned the basics of mechatronic engineering and constructed miniature vehicles that could find their way out of a "maze". Some outstanding works won the participating teams honors and prizes during a competition held on the last day of the workshop.

"We want our participants to learn mechatronic engineering through fun and games," said MEEM Associate Professor Dr Peter Tse, one of the workshop instructors. During the workshop, participants designed and assembled the mechanical parts of the vehicles with the application of the latest computer-aided design (CAD) technology and advanced Rapid Prototyping equipment. The participants from eight secondary schools were divided into teams. Combining the mechanical parts and the electronic subassemblies provided, each team constructed an entire vehicle. Finally, they learned how to program the controller and connect the sensors in order to guide the vehicles to find their way out of a complex maze.  (Click here for a video clip of the competition.)

 

 "The vehicle which navigates through the maze in the shortest length of time will be the champion," MEEM Laboratory Manager Dr Ricky Yeung, another workshop instructor, explained. The Fukien Secondary School team became Champion by finishing the maze in 268 seconds, having traveled 840 centimeters. The first runner up was the Ho Lap College team. The STFASeawardWooCollege team, the second runner up, also clinched two other awards for Best Bench Decoration and Best Body Decoration. The winners were awarded hi-tech "Robosapien" toys. Officiating at the prize presentation were Associate Deans from CityU's Faculty of Science and Engineering: Professor C H Chan, Professor Johnny Chan, and Professor Ron Hui.

 

"The workshop provides an opportunity for secondary school students to experience how mechatronic engineering is applied in the design and development of hi-tech industrial products," said MEEM Acting Head Dr Richard Fung, who thanked the organizations that supported the event, including the Federation of Parents Teachers Associations from Kowloon City, Kwun Tong, and Wong Tai Sin; the Electronics Education Technology Assocation, and the Hong Kong Education Technology Association.

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