Before my first day at Cooper Union, I was nervous that I would be disappointed. Enjoying the freedom of my summer vacation, I worried that Cooper Union Summer STEM would struggle — like school — to create an engaging, challenging, and independent engineering program. This has not been the case:
Monday started with orientation speeches, which all portrayed different takeaways from the program, from developing new career skills, to picking up non-career related interests. Overall, the orientation was very inspiring and left me eager to begin the course. We walked across the street and, before lunch, did a tower building activity where our group got second place. In the afternoon, I really enjoyed the introduction to sketching we did with a teaching assistant. I was surprised by how much material he was able to cover, and I was able to learn; we went through line sketching, curve sketching, shading, multi-view drawings, and compass usage. I especially liked the discussion during the compass section of the formulas for an arc enveloping two circles, for inscribing two circles, and for enveloping one circle and inscribing another.
Tuesday, we split up into groups and started working with Onshape, a free CAD software system. I had some experience with this from my own projects, but this seminar finalized my understanding of creating 3d models. In the afternoon we took apart an RC Car and experimented with the way the motors and circuit board worked with an Arduino. I got to control the pattern of the motors movement through the Arduino.
Wednesday, we finished up our CAD tutorial, where I started working on modeling a multi-story building. After that, all the Cooper Union Summer Stem Students participated in a career interest activity, which was decent. After lunch we continued to work with the RC Cars and presented design improvements that could be made. I suggested adding a rotatable camera in order to more effectively utilize the cars dialing. At the end of the day we brainstormed potential project ideas and I came up with a Lighter Than Air Drone and Affordable WiFi Extender as possibilities.