UCONN’s Joule Fellows Explore QVCC’s Manufacturing and Engineering Programs

The Joule Fellows Program at the University of Connecticut (UCONN) gives middle school, high school, and community college instructors a chance to participate in current research and develop lessons and activities to bring engineering principles into their classroom. As part of the program, Joule Fellows attend various enrichment activities around the state in interesting and relevant locations.

In early August, Joule Fellows from UCONN attended a tour of QVCC’s manufacturing and engineering programs and completed a related workshop on 3D scanning, Computer-Aided Design (CAD), 3D printing, and Laser Cutting. They measured parts, made simple sketches on paper with relevant dimensions, then created those parts using a 3D CAD program, SolidWorks. They took a 3D-printed box, and cut and etched a matching lid from mirrored cast acrylic with their own custom text on it using our laser cutter. There was also a brief live 3D scanning demo.

Two students, Cassandra Miller from QVCC, and Amit Thakkar from Central Connecticut State University (CCSU), helped Prof. Jakob Spjut run the workshop and assisted the Joule Fellows with their workshop tasks. They also shared some details of their summer project, as they worked on a NASA Connecticut Space Grant Consortium (CTSGC) Undergraduate Student-Faculty Research project to redesign the statewide Community College Quadcopter Challenge under Prof. Jakob Spjut (QVCC) and Prof. Ravindra Thamma (CCSU). As QVCC campus director for the space grant, Prof. Spjut also shared additional statewide opportunities for high school teachers to get involved with the Space Grant, which is NASA’s educational outreach arm inside of Connecticut, administered out of University of Hartford.