First Year Engineering Projects
engineering student you don't have to wait to dig into the fun applications
of your major — get started designing, creating,
and problem-solving in your first year at CU-Boulder! The College of Engineering
Engineering Projects course (GEEN 1400)
is a fun way to apply the core concepts learned in the first-year
engineering curriculum and a nice change of pace from the more traditional
structure of calculus, physics, and chemistry classes. Students love this hands-on
introduction to real-world engineering!
Upper-class and transfer students
also can explore creative design possibilities through
Invention and Innovation (GEEN
3400), a three-credit design course that introduces students to product
development and entrepreneurship. Students work in teams to invent a new
product with potential for marketplace success. At the end of each
semester, students in both courses present their design projects at the ITL
loved the hands-on aspect of the freshman projects course. Being able to,
as a freshman, sit down and design something and create it was really
great. It was fun getting use all the cool tools and take it a step further
and able to help someone else.”
Toni Kolpfenstein, chemical
and biological engineering sophomore
Check out these recent examples of design projects created by
When students in Jean Hertzberg's First Year Engineering
Projects class were challenged to create a fun project, the
A-Team decided to create a hovercraft "because what's more fun
than riding on air?" Consisting of a wood platform, a lift fan,
a thrust fan, and shutter controls, the team's gas-powered craft
can cruise along at 15 mph and is able to climb a 20-degree
slope with a driver on board.
Bike Water Screw
Robyn Sandekian's First Year Engineering Projects class designed
and built a bicycle-powered water pump using Archimedes' screw
concept. The device both pumps and filters the water using a
design concept that could be applied in developing communities
as a means for clean drinking water.
designed this Tubular Telephone as an educational playground
how sound is transmitted through acoustic waves in air. There
are four megaphones connected to underground PVC pipes that
converge in a switchbox, and youngsters can use different pipe
connectors to connect two, three, or four pipes together, much
like an old-fashioned telephone switch panel.
Named after the late American cartoonist, a
Rube Goldberg is a complex machine that uses many steps to
perform a simple task. This colorful "Rube Goldfish"
machine offers a fun and entertaining way for kids to feed their
fish. The machine also includes a musical feature that enables
children to play with and learn from the machine
track of body mass during long space flights is very important
to astronauts, who can't weigh themselves due to the
The Masscillator uses a spring-mass system similar to that used
in space. By sitting on this oscillating bench, a student can
estimate his or her mass based on the period of vibration — and
make sure they're not gaining "the freshman 15"!
Remember the destructive tsunami that ravaged the coast of
Thailand in December 2004? This Tsunami Simulator was designed
to demonstrate the intensity and wave formation of a tsunami
that could occur on the volcanic island of La Palma, off the
coast of Africa.
Walking on Water
Thought it couldn’t be done? This group took on the challenge,
creating fiberglass walking “shoes” designed to resemble the
hull of a boat.
through lots of ideas that wouldn't work, we finally came up
with a general idea for our walk on water device," the students
wrote in their final paper. As the team designed and produced
its "water shoes," it tackled challenges of buoyancy, stability,
and propulsion with careful planning, creative problem-solving,
and a few mishaps, too!