Engineering summer camp activities highlight high-speed rail

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Engineering summer camp activities highlight high-speed rail

The Lyles College of Engineering at Fresno State will host more than 70 middle and high school students at its annual Explore Engineering Camp from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 20 to 24 and its Summer Engineering Experience camp from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 27 to July 1 in the Engineering East building.

The Explore Engineering Camp (grades 7 to 9) and Summer Engineering Experience camp (grades 10 to 12) are non-residential and cost $125 per student.

Camp activities will focus on high-speed rail and include hands-on projects combined with academic lectures and high-speed rail experts. Camps are held on the Fresno State campus and include trips to the NASA Research Centers in Edwards and Mountain View on June 22 and 30.

“Engineering is continuously improving the quality of life by putting the knowledge gained by the sciences into practical applications that benefits society at large,” said Dr. Jesus Larralde, associate dean of the Lyles College. “The realization of a large engineering project like the California High-Speed Rail project requires the inventive and creative skills of many engineers and from many disciplines, including civil, mechanical, electrical, computer and geomatics engineering as well as construction management.”

Each camp offers different activities and projects. Students will participate in projects including “gridlock buster,” a Lego challenge, and using global positioning systems (GPS) and AutoCAD to do digital terrain modeling.

Dr. Lalita Oka will discuss civil engineering and soil foundations, helping students to discover how soils influence the design and layout of high-speed rail tracks. Drs. Defy Law and The Nguyen will show how dynamic modeling, design and aerodynamics pertain to mechanical engineering and high-speed rail. Fresno State alumnus Watson Tungjunyatham will teach students how electronics and control systems can be programmed to provide automation for high-speed rail. Students will learn basic programming to control and simulate a functioning train.

Both camps will conclude with a car and track design competition led by Walter Mizuno, professor of mechanical engineering at Fresno State. “Students will use a Hot Wheels track to design the fastest path between two points with obstacles in the way,” Mizuno said.

Middle school students will create the tracks from 1 to 2 p.m. Friday, June 24, in Engineering East (Room 385) and compete from 2 to 3 p.m. in the Engineering East foyer. High school students will create their tracks from 2 to 3 p.m. Friday, July 1, and compete from 3 to 4 p.m.

“They will need to consider super-elevation and banking,” Mizuno explained. “Their goal will be to get from start to finish in the shortest amount of time without going off the track.”

For more information, contact Rebecca Wass at 530.208.7445 or rwass@csufresno.edu, or Hernan Maldonado at 559.284.0837 or hmaldonado@csufresno.edu.

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