Larry Genalo, Materials Science and Engineering, (515) 294-4722
Debra Gibson, News Service, (515) 294-4917
TOYING WITH TECHNOLOGY BANKS ON QUIRKS AND QUARTERS
AMES, Iowa -- You think you have trouble saving money? Students in Professor Larry Genalo's engineering course at Iowa State University are investing their time these days calculating contraptions that will deposit quarters into piggy banks -- using at least 15 steps.
Twenty-four undergraduate education majors will show off their "Rube Goldberg" projects at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 30, in Room 2220 of Howe Hall. The students are required to design "crazy machines that show a complicated way to perform a simple task," according to Genalo, professor of materials science and engineering. (The late Rube Goldberg was a political cartoonist whose comics illustrated inordinately complex solutions to the most basic assignments.)
Constructed outside of class time, the contraptions must include at least 15 -- and up to 20 -- steps to accomplish the goal of depositing the quarters. Once the machine is in motion, no human intervention is allowed. Students are prohibited from using electricity, combustibles, flammables, fire or hazardous materials, but they may utilize batteries.
The purpose of Genalo's engineering course, known as "Toying with Technology," is to help prospective K-12 teachers become more "technologically literate."
"We want these future teachers to become more comfortable talking about science and engineering," Genalo said, "so they can share that knowledge with their future students."
Ames, Iowa 50011, (515) 294-4111
Published by: University Relations,
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