Engineering department hosts open house


Courtesy of Olivia Schmitz

Students show off engineering designs.

Sophie Dobos, Staff Writer

Just before Christmas, innovations, and creations filled the atrium as Engineering III students unveiled their latest projects. These inventions have been worked on since the beginning of the school year, prepping for this year’s, second-ever, engineering open house. 

This event allows students to showcase the work they have done throughout the semester. The engineering program plans to run the open house a few more times, having one before spring break and another at the end of the year. “[This event] is a progression of early stages to later stages, [and shows] how [the creations] grow and develop,” Mr. Paul Wichser said. 

[This event] is a progression of early stages to later stages, [and shows] how [the creations] grow and develop.

— Paul Wischer

John Freytag and Quinn Carnish, seniors, were able to create a remote control (RC) car. They did so by purchasing the wheels and the frames of the car. The camera mountings and motor controller holster were then made by the pair. The two have endured some failures along the way, one being that the RC car was missing a few batteries and wires were not connected properly. However, they were able to overcome those hindrances and as they unveiled a running remote control car. “Mr. Wichser decided to approach us with the idea of taking RC cars and turning them into our little surveillance drones, so I decided to take him up on that idea,” Freytag said. 

Rather than building an RC car, senior Anna Kocourek chose to create a functioning robotic claw for her project. Though she was able to create this innovation with the resources at school, she plans to buy linear actuators––which will help the arm move in a straight line––shortly for her design. The majority of Kocourek’s creation was made by the 3D printer here at BSM. The first three prints failed, pushing Kocourek back a week. However, this setback did not stop her from creating a working robotic grasper. “There is only one other team of grasper builders, so we’ve never had an arm or grasper that works. I just really wanted to be the first to have a grasper that actually works, so people can use [it] after I leave,” Kocourek said. 

With the atrium filled with people and robotics, this engineering open house had been deemed a success. “There are more people than expected. The quality of work is overall good. It’s beyond what I was expecting as far as the quality,” Wichser said.