"MISSION: Construct a device that will pop a balloon. The
device must be
contained in a cubical space that is 1 foot by 1 foot by 1 foot The
device will be placed behind a strip of tape 4 feet from the balloon. A
standard size brick will be placed 1 foot from the balloon, directly
between the balloon and your device. Your device must pop the balloon
within a time frame of 25 to 30 seconds after the clock starts. You may
not spend more than $5 in the construction of your device. GOOD LUCK.<
Twelve students, divided into three teams, are now at work
inventing balloon-popping apparatuses as part of Coastal Carolina
University's first Engineering 101 class. For construction materials,
the students are restricted to a list of some 200 accepted items,
ranging from screws, bolts and pulleys to zip lock bags, golf clubs and
Corn Flakes. Their creations must be operational by Oct. 26 -
Demonstration Day - when they will be tested and graded by Doug Nelson,
associate dean of the College of Natural and Applied Sciences and
instructor of the course.
Engineering 101 is the first class to be offered in the dual
degree cooperative program Coastal and Clemson University initiated
this semester, which allows students to earn bachelor's degrees from
both universities. Students begin their academic career by working
toward a bachelor's degree in one of four science majors at Coastal.
After three years at Coastal, students transfer to Clemson, where they
will spend the next two years majoring in one of eight engineering
degrees. While at Clemson, students will complete the remaining courses
needed for their Coastal degree.
All students who enroll in the program must take the introductory
Engineering 101 course, designed to explore student aptitude for
engineering. The course provides information on the practice and ethics
of engineering and gives an overview of career possibilities, according
to Nelson. The balloon popping project is one of four demonstration
experiments the students must develop as part of the course
"Creative problem solving, often accomplished by teams, is a basic
activity in engineering," says Nelson, "I'm very pleased with the
ingenuity of these students based on their projects and course work.
The students who complete the first three years of the program at
Coastal will have proven that they can handle a full-load of high-
intensity technical classes. When they get to Clemson, they will be
- more -
Students enrolled in the program are: John E. Brigman, freshman
mathematics major of Conway; Maria C. Butler, freshman mathematics
major of Conway; Johnny Calhoun, freshman computer science major of
Conway; Christan Graham, freshman undeclared major of Conway; Tayfun
Karadeniz, junior computer science major of Myrtle Beach; Robby Sarvis,
sophomore computer science major of Loris; Daniel Spivey, sophomore
computer science major of Loris; John Tenney, freshman computer science
major of Myrtle Beach; Jason Webster, freshman computer science major
of Myrtle Beach; Christian West, sophomore mathematics major of Conway;
Casey Wollard, freshman mathematics major of Myrtle Beach; and Robert
Wood, freshman chemistry major of Ft. Worth, Texas.
Although this is the first year the dual degree program is
officially being offered, some of the students in the program have been
working toward transferring into an engineering program, and one
Engineering 101 student - Tayfun Karadeniz - is scheduled to make the
move to Clemson next fall.
Students who complete the dual degree program will have a greater
range of analytical and problem-solving skills than the average
engineering graduate, according to Nelson, plus a full degree in either
chemistry, biology, mathematics or computer science. "They will have an
edge in knowledge, experience and employability."
But for now, their minds are not on diplomas or careers. Their
main concern is designing a gadget for less than $5 that will
circumvent a brick and pop the balloon behind it in 25 to 30 seconds.