Engineering Design and Development students create real-world solutions

Hands-on learning is a huge part of the education Butler Tech students receive…add a real-world problem and the opportunity to create the solution and the educational experience soars!

Students in Butler Tech’s Engineering Design and Development Capstone course at Lakota East High School are experiencing real-world impact as they work to create solutions for real clients in their own district.

Seniors, Logan Fox, Grace Silverberg, Lisa Biehle, and Mackenzie Novean were presented the challenge of creating an adapted board game that can be easily used by a younger Lakota East student who struggles with mobility issues due to spinal muscular atrophy.  Through research and collaboration with the client and her teachers, the students developed a board game that utilizes a moving light indicator in place of a tangible game piece. As the player touches a button on a hand-held device, the game is programmed to advance the light across the board with limited physical movement.

“This project is different than other class assignments because if you’re working on something that’s just for you, just for a grade, then it’s one thing.  But in this case, it’s not for us. We have someone who is excited about what we’re creating and they’re looking forward to receiving it.  There’s a lot more pressure but also a lot of rewards,” said Logan.

The team is also creating a similar adaptive game solution that they will enter in state and national competitions. In both projects the team created the design and used Inventor, a 3-D printer application, to input the data and scale and print the pieces for the board.

“It’s exciting to have the chance to take this class and create these types of projects in high school,” said Lisa, who plans to major in engineering in college next year. “Otherwise, how would I know engineering is what I want to do with my future?”