2017 Archives

Teens Geek Out At SMU's Summer Engineering Camp

Excerpt

The following is from the July 20, 2017, edition of KERA public radio.

July 21, 2017

By BILL ZEEBLE

Throughout the summer, high school and junior high students have been gathering at Southern Methodist University for week-long engineering camps. High schoolers tackled a tough challenge. Devise - then build – one of several electronic items like an alarm clock or home burglary system.  Only make it smaller, cheaper and faster than what’s out there. And finish it in just days.

Everyone’s deadline-busy in SMU’s maker-space – the Deason Innovation Gym. With the clock ticking, Conrad High School 17 year-old Chan Hnin and his three team mates are building their own, unusual, alarm clock.

“The battery life is way longer and it’s also louder than your phone,” Chan says. “Some people are sleepy headed, you know?”

Chan’s on one of four teams of high school boys here to learn real engineering through hands-on experience.  London Morris, from Lancaster High School, explains why their clock’s an improvement.

“We’re human so we end up messing up and making mistakes,” London says. “I will forget to charge my phone throughout the night, so my phone goes dead, I don’t hear my alarm, I oversleep. I have an alarm clock right there to wake me up. That’s why we built this alarm.”

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