Engineering presentation covers history of inventions Introducing knowledge from the past

Presenting in front of the class, junior Kolby Tran explains the innovations of robots. Students in Engineering chose an invention and presented their findings. “I wanted to ask questions to understand how my classmates thought and if we had similar viewpoints,” Tran said. “These presentations allowed me to understand engineering history and understand my friends better after years of knowing them.” Photo Credit: Grinesa Bajrami

To test the students’ knowledge on the history of design, Engineering teacher Rizalito Nicolas assigned freshmen and juniors to complete a presentation on an invention of their choice.

“[Researching and presenting the history of an invention is important because] it shows [students] the design process of a product, how something evolves and some things that they can use to show what affected the evolution of it, for example historical and regional influences,” Nicolas said.

The objective of the presentations was to help students understand the engineering design and innovation process. Some inventions students researched were windmills, computers and cell phones.

“[The project] helps them [learn] the engineering process and how engineers are always trying to improve things,” Nicolas said. “The main thing is that the engineering process is always continuing and the design process is always changing. [An engineer] has to find out what’s wrong with a product, then redesign it, so it’s a continuing process.”

Students were given two class periods to do research before presenting. After each presentation, students were asked questions by their peers to prove they had done their research. Presenters lost points if they could not answer the questions they were asked.

“I’m glad we were given a professional presentation already because it [helped me relearn how] to presenting, which is a crucial skill to have,” junior Raymond Vitela said. “This year already seems to be a lot more exciting compared to ones prior.”

After presentations, students will begin learning about power tools. Juniors will then apply what they learned in class out in the shop.

“Time constraints were stressful because I had to explain thousands of years of history in less than three minutes but more than two,” junior Casey Joseph said. “The presentations were extremely rushed and I felt I couldn’t properly communicate all my information, but the questions allowed me to explain more.”

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