Bonds Stronger Than Wood Glue- Ryanna H

Hi fellow engineers! Ryanna here to tell you all how this year’s project is going. Ava and I are working on finishing up our sketchup right now. It’s amazing how creative your ideas are when you get to collaborate. One thing we both wanted was a way to project onto the side of the school, so that different classes could be held outside. After debating whether or not the idea was possible we realized that the white screen we would project on could be made out of whiteboard material, making it even easier to have class or work on projects outside! We also added 3 horse trough ponds along the side of the building, where there is a lot of run off. Initially the ponds will be low water, but as it rains the ponds will catch the runoff and expand the depth of the pond. Another important element of the courtyard was building a cover for the airstream. Again killing two birds with one stone, we decided to attach solar panels to the roof, which can be used to power the airstream. The solar panel is currently on the ground and can’t collect enough sunlight to properly power the airstream. These are just a few of the ideas that Ava and I have come up with and are planning to implement in our design.


The program were designing our plan on is Google SketchUp. I’ve been fortunate enough to work with Google SketchUp in the past both in 8th grade PLTW designing a birdhouse and in my free time. I really enjoy working on this program because I tend to see plans in 3D. Sketchup allows me to recreate my vision quickly and accurately.


The different tables, solar panels, living walls, hammocks, chess boards and ponds were all imported from a pre made selection of items to import. Ava and I have been doing research on the side through pinterest. It’s a great way to find lots of ideas on what to put into our final design. We’ve researched different picnic tables, and how to build amphitheatres. Its also helped us generate new ideas that we can incorporate into our design, including the ponds.
One of my favorite parts about this project is the amazing collaboration that goes on, not only between me and my partner but throughout our entire engineering class. Engineering means so much to me, and I couldn’t have asked for a better group of girls to learn and grow with. Regardless of which design gets chosen in the end, we’ve all worked as a group to come up with an amazing courtyard. I’ve never seen a group this large be this close, and share the same goals. We all struggle together, laugh together and, build really amazing bonds. I can’t wait to see where this project goes next!


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