Creativity Through Engineering Design by Vienna

Vienna's entry into Varsity Tutor's November 2021 scholarship contest

Congratulations to our scholarship winner!
  • Rank: 1
  • 50 Votes
Vienna Alexander
November 2021

Creativity Through Engineering Design by Vienna - November 2021 Scholarship Essay

The room where I can express myself, think creatively, and the place that encourages me to be independent may have simple elements-- the carpeted floor, wooden desks, blue plastic chairs, and two neat rows of desktop computers-- but these elements are comforting ones in the place I have come to know over my high school years. That is why the course Introduction to Engineering, also known as IED, deserves more emphasis in school.
IED allows students to express themselves. The first day of class also marked my first design challenge. We had to construct a cable car that could make its way across the line of cable that had been strung across the length of the room. We split into teams of 3, and each team was given the same amounts and types of supplies to create our cable cars. We all had the same amount of time, and at the end of the time limit, each team would attach their car to the line of cable and shoot it across to see which team could get the farthest across the cable. Each team had different ideas and we were able to express our own ways of thinking through our creation. This expression is necessary for students, which is why Introduction to Engineering is a class that deserves more emphasis in school.
The class also promotes creative thinking. In the same cable car design challenge, we used creative thinking to brainstorm ideas for our cars. Our team brainstormed the idea of using the paper as the main building material, and making an origami box, and then using string and straws to make it steadier. But before we created the car, we thought of other random ideas that could work, because in Introduction to Engineering, crazy ideas are welcome, and so is piling on, which is where team members add on to each other's ideas. Anything and everything makes the list because you never know when an idea will work. Creative thinking leads to problem solving and therefore Introduction to Engineering needs to have more emphasis in school.
Independence is encouraged in Introduction to Engineering, through self-directed projects. In the second semester, students are given very loose guidelines for projects, allowing students to take initiative on how they will approach their project, or, for the final project of the year especially, what they get to create for their project. Second semester projects include a castle, a team design project, and the final project. In these projects, the goal for the students is to enjoy creating, so long as they demonstrate certain skills they learned on CAD-- computer-aided design. However, this is easily accomplished with the limitless creativity of the students for the scopes of their projects. I experienced this first hand when I came back as a tutor, having taken the class and enjoying it so much. I was able to see the creativity that the students have, and the amazing execution of their ideas. Additionally, self-guidance and the ability to be self-driven is an essential life skill that, when developed early in classes like Introduction to Engineering, can only serve to aid students for life, hence why the class deserves much more emphasis in school.
Introduction to Engineering is an excellent class that allows students to express themselves, think creatively and problem solve, and become self-driven. These skills are necessary, not only for school, but for work and life in general. If students develop these skills now, through IED, they will be better prepared for their future. Students will also just have fun in this class, and express their creativity through Engineering Design.