Saturday, March 29, 2014

2014 Extreme Redesign 3D Printing Challenge Finalist

What happens when sports and engineering join forces? Good things, my friends, good things. Brayden worked very hard on his entry for the Extreme Redesign 3D Printing Challenge. We recently received notification that his design, The FANTASTAKICK, was selected as a top 10 finalist. 

In this challenge, students are tasked to find a design and improve it. Brayden is the kicker for the Columbia High School football team and, with the help of his coach, decided his kicking tee could use some improvement. After redesigning his tee on paper he took to SolidWorks, learned the program and drew up his new design. We printed his first redesign in our 3D printer and took it to the football field for some testing. Brayden decided it could use a bit more improvement so back to SolidWorks he went. His final design, The FANTASTAKICK, was ready for submitting. 

This contest gives students the option of presenting their design through either writing or a video. We had some good footage and decided a video would be the way to go. Brayden and I talked about his options and the idea of a cheesy infomercial was born. Brayden took off with this idea and did a great job. 

Top ten finalists receive a $50 gift card and have their design printed and sent to them. His final design was a little larger than our 3D printer can handle so he is pretty excited about receiving his printed tee. The contest says scholarship winners will be announced in early April so we should soon find out if he made the top 3. 

Regardless of the outcome, Brayden is already a winner. I've watched him grow in many ways over the past three years. He's contributed a lot of time and effort to our robotics program and is part of the very first group of students set to complete my Engineering Technology program this school year. As a level three student, he will sit for SolidWorks certification in May. He also recently signed with the Air Force Academy and will head to Colorado to play football and pursue a degree in aerospace engineering. (Yay!!)

And this is why we teach ... not for the pay (which is never enough), not for the recognition (not what we're about), but for the impact we make on future generations. We give them wings so they can fly.