Junior Project

Junior Project

Breakthrough for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics(STEAM) Education!

Juniors at the DPEA light the way for the future as they become the first group to take on a new project, designed to envelop an array of engineering skills into one seamless piece of art.

The Moire Sculpture, also known as a kinetic light sculpture, is inspired by a form of art called Moire patterns, in which a set of lines are placed on top of other lines to create an illusion.

The sculpture consists of two black circle panels with designs cut out of them. When placed on top of each other and rotated in either direction, they create an endless number of shapes and patterns. A screen, illuminated by white light, lays behind the panels and glows colors. In addition, the sculpture has a feature that uses motion sensors and has a backside that allows people to look at the inner workings, such as the pulleys and the computer system that controls it.

This project will allow students to gain skills in all fields of engineering provided at the academy. These skills include (but are not limited to): machining, computer aided design, computer programming, engineering physics, and design-based art. The DPEA teachers crafted this project carefully, so that it would encapsulate all aspects of the STEAM education system, which they strongly believe in. We asked academy director Amir Abo-Shaeer about the project:

“It has a new aesthetic beauty to it, unlike any of our previous projects. I like that is has two faces. There’s this concept of, in one hand it presents itself as this piece of art which looks very elegant. But on the other hand, when you turn it around, it’s a sophisticated presentation of the engineering skills that went into making this, and it really communicates all that’s going on. The [transparent] back side allows students to reference all of the different engineering aspects involved in the project, making it educationally presentable. Our team who designed this sculpture thought that it was important to allow the project to empower the students to be ambassadors of the engineering academy. We’ve basically given them a vehicle that allows them to share the artistic and engineering aspects that they learned from the engineering academy to the outside world.

“This project takes all of these branches of learning and shows them linked into one piece. Design-based learning is emphasized on this piece, which will help the juniors during their senior year when they are working on the robot and senior project. It’s similar to the senior project in that it has a design with some constraints in which we decide how we will achieve the optimal product.

“My hope this year is to continue to evolve the curriculum and evolve the way we communicate the curriculum to the students, so that they are more connected to what we’re doing. Now that we have the junior project, we can give people a trajectory of the whole learning process that goes on in the engineering academy. We base this trajectory off of a continual evolution of project-based learning. Each year, the class is tied into a theme-based project, and hopefully by the end of their experience, they will be able to present their knowledge and passion to others.”

See a video of the junior project below: