large crowd gathered around track on floor watching small machine move around the track

PCEC Project Day demonstrates teamwork, collaboration to area high school students

Area high school students learned about setbacks, teamwork and collaboration during Project Day, sponsored by the Padnos College of Engineering and Computing.

More than 110 Grand Valley students demonstrated and discussed 50 projects during the fall semester event, held December 9 at the Innovation and Design Center on the Pew Grand Rapids Campus. 

Warner Jackson and other students from the West Michigan Aviation Academy played the Recycling Pinball Machine, which shot a soda can around the game's surface area with 3D-printed flippers keeping the can in play.

three students watching a can travel up a makeshift pinball machine
The Recycling Pinball Machine was one of 50 projects on display during PCEC Project Day, December 9 at the Innovation Design Center.
Image Credit: Kendra Stanley-Mills

Warner said WMAA, a charter high school located by Gerald R. Ford International Airport, is planning its own project day next semester. 

"Our biomedical sciences and autonomous vehicle classes are here to get more information about what went into these projects, how long they took and to look at everything," he said.

A cohort of students from the combined BSE/MSE program created a game called Pop Drop, which used infrared sensors to detect the movement of a soda can to then activate a question about recycling and sustainability. 

Cayla Stout, who is majoring in biomedical engineering, said the group began working on Pop Drop in early August. "It was nice to work with people from your cohort because we know each other well," she said.

student stands by poster display, talking with two high school students
Graduate engineering student Jayla Wesley talks to two high school students. Three area high schools participated in Project Day.
Kendra Stanley-Mills
pop drop machine in back, three students in front, laughing and engaging
The Pop Drop Machine was created by a cohort in the combined engineering degree program.
Kendra Stanley-Mills

Cameron Shearer and other computing science students designed software for Grand Valley's Athletic Training department to streamline injury evaluation intakes. In the winter semester, another group of students in a capstone class will finish working on "What's Wrong with Louie?" 

Students from Innovation Central and Catholic Central high schools also toured Project Day.