Engineering Student Projects Solve Real-World Problems

Engineering Student Projects Solve Real-World Problems
Shawnee Mission School District

Engineering Design and Development students showcased their capstone projects in a trade show presentation.

During the showcase, students presented innovative engineering solutions to real-world problems. Guest judges evaluated each project based on level of innovation, marketability, and presentation quality, awarding play money to the projects they judged as the best investments.

Concerned about plastic pollution in lakes and waterways, seniors Lucy Harrison and Evan Reed developed a prototype for a biodegradable alternative to plastic fishing lures.

“Plastic lures don’t decompose and expand over time, becoming fatal for fish,” Harrison explained. “Also, if you’re catching a fish to eat, you don’t want it to be full of plastic. Our lures are made from natural materials, are as strong as plastic, and break down in water in less than a month.”

Reed shared that he and Harrison enjoyed the freedom to choose a project that they were both passionate about. “The class was free range, and we were able to go in depth with the research,” expressed Reed.

Other projects included a portable insulin preserving device, a refurbished Pac-Man machine as a solution to electronic waste, and a seat belt extender.

Greg Thiel, Engineering Instructor, expressed pride in the students saying, “They have done phenomenal work.”

The students are working toward presenting their projects at the KC STEM Alliance Engineering Design and Development Showcase to be held in the spring.