Jason Siwek’s latest project for his eighth-grade engineering class at Heritage Middle School is designed to show the many aspects involved in engineering.
As part of the project, students are constructing mini-golf courses with custom putters — with the following objectives:
The mini-golf courses have to be fun and challenging while making a hole-in-one attainable.
Courses have to be designed with a target audience in mind: Who typically plays mini-golf? What do they like about it? What don’t they like about it?
They must be a certain length and have certain obstacles that are mathematically measured out.
They have to document their designs with instructions and specifications so someone else can rebuild it.
“I hope they realize that engineering is all around us in every aspect,” Siwek said. “I hope they see the connections that engineering requires all sorts of disciplines, not just science and math. There’s a lot of research and literacy involved.”
Design teams wrapped up construction and documentation of their mini-golf courses on Friday. Starting next week, they will hand off their designs to other teams, who will have to build their courses based on the instructions and specifications they drafted.
“Can the other groups do this without having them on site?” Siwek said. “If they can, great. If not, they have to go back and revise it.”
To expand on the lesson, he plans to take his students on a field trip to Westerville Mini Golf to learn more about course designs and expectations when they hire someone to build a course.