Congratulations to Samantha Frohlich ’20, Kayla Levine ’20, and Jack Wagner ’18 for taking second place in the 2018 Raytheon Engineering Games on Wednesday, February 21. Narrowly missing first place, they came within 1 percent of the top spot. Thirty-three schools competed in the annual contest in which students collaborate to solve real life problems using physics, math, and engineering skills. Part of Engineers Week, the games are designed to inspire students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
Teams were tasked with building a thermal bridge to protect the earth from global warming. Students needed to design a device that rapidly reduced a high temperature to a moderate 60 degrees Celsius temperature and stay in close proximity for an extended period of time. They had 90 minutes to build the device.
Because the challenge changes each year, teams cannot prepare in advance for the competition. But, certain classes that students had taken at Milken helped provide them with the tools to uncover solutions. “Chemistry as well as math aided me, as they have taught me to use formulas, not just to plug in, but also to creatively use them in order to solve problems,” remarked Levine. “These classes taught me that when I am attempting to solve a problem, I can't think of the formulas as a plug and chug, but rather to think of the goal of the problem we are trying to solve.” She noted that the team approached the challenge very methodically, doing calculations and plugging them into a formula based in excel.
“Students learn how to work as a team and learn that engineering is actually fun, important, and can be a rewarding career path,” said Director of Mitchell Academy of Science and Technology (MAST) and Guerin Family Institute for Advanced Sciences Roger Kassebaum.
As a reward for their impressive finish, the team will receive a traveling trophy, with Milken’s name engraved on it, for one year. It’s not the first time a Milken team has placed in the competition, they won the tournament in 2014 and the school’s name already occupies a spot on the trophy.
Frohlich, Levine, and Wagner, who participated in the games for the first time, agreed that the competition was a great way to introduce engineering concepts to students that might want to pursue it as a career and that it was fun to participate in.
“The games are great for people who think they want to be engineers to challenge themselves and see what the field is really all about,” commented Wagner.
“It was incredible being in a room with people my age who had remarkable amounts of drive, motivation, and intelligence. It was the most inspired I have ever felt and the most impressed I have ever been,” said Frohlich.