The Angry Birds video game was introduce by Apple in December 2009. The objective of the game is to slingshot birds across the screen at pig targets. To date, the game has had more than 400 million mobile downloads, and has been called the largest mobile application (“app”) success the world has ever seen by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
At SciotoTech, engineering students are building a real-world catapult and pig houses, which they will use to study engineering theories to launch bean-bag birds.
“Once we get it out in the field, these pig houses are going to be set at different heights and different distances. Right now we’re looking at 50 yards, and the students will have to figure out using the trajectory motion equation what angle they will need to put the slingshot at in order to hit, and how far back they are going to have to pull the slingshot. It’s just mathematics,” said SciotoTech engineering instructor Christy Veach.
She said the project is reserved for students’ free-time, and as a stress relief project on Fridays. The slingshot students have built can shoot up to 200 yards.
SciotoTech junior Kyle Canter of Minford said he has played the video game and said it was interesting and different to build it in real-life. He said it has taught him nothing ever turns out the way you expect.
“I’ve had the most fun testing it,” he said. “We haven’t really gone out officially and measured it, but the birds are shooting about 60 yards or so. It’s still a lot of fun.”
Once it’s completed, students at SciotoTech will challenge each other in a friendly competition.
“We’ll do the competition within our class, and then we want to challenge other programs. We’ll let them use our slingshot, but they’ll build their own pig houses. Some of the students have had an idea that maybe we could use it as a fundraiser,” Veach said.
The engineering class is also working on a greenhouse project with students in the industrial maintenance program.
“Our role is working with engineering,” said SciotoTech industrial maintenance instructor Brett McGraw. “We’ve broken the blueprints down after engineering created them and modified some things. Then we’ve worked with them to break the blueprints down and work in four groups, with each one doing their own partition of the four walls.”
SciotoTech engineering student Alex Hall of Wheelersburg said the greenhouse project has taught him about teamwork and working with other disciplines.
“I have really enjoyed working with everybody; where everything is based on a vote and it’s not a popularity contest. It’s only who has the best ideas and who is willing to help put it in, and everyone gets a say-so,” Hall said.
Next year, three students from the engineering discipline and three from the industrial maintenance discipline will present the student greenhouse project to a state conference in Columbus.
SciotoTech Principal Kyle Copley said he’s very excited about the unique activities in which the engineering students participate, and said the discipline prepares students for many wonderful and available jobs.
RYAN SCOTT OTTNEY can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 235, or firstname.lastname@example.org.