Skills Labs

Conceptualization, visualization, and graphical representation are critical parts of the technical problem-solving process. So is prototyping and iterating your idea as you go. Part of the Introduction to Design, EDNS 151, course is an accompanying competency-based lab which teaches these important skills:

1- Field-sketching is taught in the first two weeks, and includes:

  • Learning to quickly sketch what you see or conceptualize
  • Getting over any fear or embarrassment in sketching
  • Incorporating contextual elements into your sketches

2- Two weeks of low-resolution cutting and assembly work is provided to support testing and prototyping in the Cornerstone Workshop.

3- Excel charting, equations, and functions are taught in two skills labs.

4- The skills labs finish with a six-week unit in technical sketching and computer-aided design (CAD), specifically SolidWorks, providing students with a means for modeling, documenting, and communicating their designs, along with an option to take the Certified SolidWorks Associate’s (CSWA) certification exam free of charge.  Students also have the options to take a more in-depth SolidWorks or AutoCAD single credit hour lab in lieu of five of the six weeks mentioned above.

Optional workshops on programmable controllers are offered for those teams incorporating sense & respond or command & control subsystems into their solutions.

Other software tools are offered in the second year course, the Practice of Design:

  • The Practice of Design: GIS (Geographic Information Systems) (EDNS261): students receive instruction in ArcGIS and work on projects which incorporate geospatial mapping and analysis in their design solutions.
  • The Practice of Design: AutoCAD (EDNS262): students receive instruction in AutoCAD and work on projects which incorporate AutoCAD in their design solutions.
  • All EDNS-run second-year design courses include a module on Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE) for data analysis and predictive modeling, using MS Excel.