Invention Club
Worcester County Section IEEE Creates Junior Engineering Club
Larry G. Nelson Sr., Chairman

Worcester County section of the IEEE has created the first affiliated junior engineering club for pre-college students. The pilot program was created at Anthony J. Sitcowski Middle School in Webster Massachusetts. This was created as after school program, aimed at sixth grade students. The initial meetings drew over 30 students interested in engineering and technology. After we were organized, the first activity that we participated in was the Duracell invention contest. In this contest the students work either individually or in teams of 2 to create an invention that utilizes batteries. With a close deadline, we ended up with over ten designs that were submitted to the contest. The section Web site has links showing many pictures of the designs the students came up with. These designs range from light up bike helmets, light up mailboxes that announce when your mail has been delivered, to fireman turnout coats that light up when a fireman falls.

The next activity was to work with and encourage all members of the club to participate in the annual science fair. All those students who submitted designs, in some of the students were unable to submit their designs but had worked on designs prepared projects for the science fair.

The third activity which the students are just started on is to work on designing robotics using the Lego Mindstorms robotic invention system. In the first session we have a small group of five students who assembled a simple sensor less robot and then proceeded to learn programming for the robot. By the end of this first 45 minutes session, they had a functioning robot and had written a half-dozen programs controlling motion and sound for the robot. In our next session will be adding sensors annual continue in their learning of programming.

Next year this program will be expanded. The section has applied for and will be receiving additional funds from the region to purchase more equipment materials to provide these types of hands-on activities for more students.

These are all designs submitted to the Duracell Invention Contest by members of the Worcester County Section IEEE Future Engineers and Inventors Club , AJSS Chapter.

Click the small images for larger views.

A bike helmet that lights up with LEDs for night riding safety. Helmet Helmet2
Sign A sign for the front yard or the front of your house that lights up when you push a button in the eye. Battery operated so you can use it
A modification to a radio that turns on the radio when a door is opened. This can be used on a mailbox to signal when the mail is delivered. Radio
Desk 1 Desk 2 A light system added to a school desk to enable the owner to look inside and see the contents.
The Van De Graff is a battery operated unit that can be used in science fairs and classroom demonstrations where electrical power may not be available.

Van De Graff generator

Alarm A modification of a door alarm that blinks a LED for a visible indicator. The girl that designed this did it for her mother who is deaf and can't hear the door.
A design for firemen to be built into their turnout coats. This has lights and switches that turn the lights on if the wearer of the coat falls down. This way if a fireman is injured and collapses the coat lights up showing the other firemen where he is. Coat
Cool Coat A cooling system designed for a fireman's coat. It has tubes sewn into the coat with a small tank and circulating pump that pumps ice water thru the coat cooling the wearer.
A light system for the basketball hoop so you can see the hoop at night and a switch that lights when a basketball goes thru the hoop. Hoop
Mailbox 2 Mailbox 1 A light system that turns on a light when the door is opened to the mailbox to let you know when the mail has been delivered.