If you have a student interested in designing and building robots you are most likely going to want to gear the studies towards Mechanical Engineering, which includes math topics like Algebra, Geometry, Trig, Calculus and Physics. With this background one can then move into other specialized fields like Mechanical Computer Aided Engineering, Nano-Engineering, Marine Engineering and Aerospace. All of these fields are well suited for the visual spatial types where abstract thinking is a way of life.
Life After FIRST Lego League, Upstairs Roomba®
If your kid is interested in the way things work, you may have a budding mechanical engineer.
Because Math and Science is so weak in American schools these days, more and more foreign students are filling the needs of these careers, taking innovation and technology out of our hands to other countries. It is a tough field to get into and mostly the top Universities take these kinds of students. If you have a student that seems to fit this description, he may have a brilliant future as a mechanical engineer. Generally, Mechanical Engineering is a five-year University program with the 4th and 5th years concentrating on a specific field of Engineering, like Mechanical Computer Aided Engineering, robotics, nano-engineering or Aerospace.
Mechanical Computer Aided Engineering
As a young adult I spent many years in the Mechanical Computer Aided Engineering (MCAE) field and one of the tickets to robotic design and engineering is an understanding of how computers work in conjunction with mechanical objects. The main thrust of this area is mechanical engineering with a concentration on geometric modeling – or 3-D geometry. This is used in simple and complex product design in items such as brake shoes and other parts for BMWs to plastic and metal parts for NASA devices, to entire flight systems for Boeing, to military applications.
The field of geometric modeling involves surface modeling or 3-D imaging on computer screens and exploring this technology can be fun.
Nano-Engineering is all about engineering that gets down to the granular details of molecules and atoms.
A subdivision of this kind of study is known s Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems or (MEMS). MEMS is the integration of mechanical elements, sensors, actuators, and electronics on a common silicon substrate through micro-fabrication technology. MEMS are also referred to as micro-machines or semi conductors.
Copyright 2009 by Amy Cortez