Student Projects are Better by Design

Apache Junction High School Students make the World a Better Place through EPICS High Instruction
By: Apache Junction Unified School District
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* Student Engineers

* Engineering

* Apache Junction - Arizona - US

APACHE JUNCTION, Ariz. - Sept. 9, 2019 - PRLog -- The Introduction to Engineering students at Apache Junction High School, 2525 S. Ironwood in Apache Junction are making the community a better place using cardboard, construction paper and a little ingenuity.

Using EPICS High, a program developed by Purdue University and offered at no cost to high school students across the U.S., students are tasked with using their knowledge and creativity to create functional designs to help solve real-life problems in the community.

The class, taught by Cary McDavid, a retired Navy nuclear mechanic and former Intel technician who also teaches Physics and Earth and Space Science at the high school, oversees and guides students through the process.

"The program provides students a glimpse into the life of an engineer as they actively deploy the academic skills they are learning in the classroom," said Mr. McDavid. "We hope that these hands-on activities and real world experiences excite the students to pursue a college degree and future career in one of the various engineering fields."

The class recently designed customized backpack prototypes out of construction paper to help students with special needs. The engineering students were paired in groups of two and collaborated with each other throughout the process.

Lindsay and Dylan created a backpack design for an enthusiastic theater student that offered hidden anti-theft storage and a padded pocket to protect a microphone. Mallory and Max interviewed a percussionist. To accommodate his special needs they designed a backpack that would hold drum sticks and mallets, as well as a pocket to accommodate a phone and a larger one for his tablet. Isabella and Taelyr wanted to make life easier for a visually-impaired student. Their prototype included color-coded and lighted files and a slim outside padded pocket to hold a flute.

Now the class is working on the design for a food tray for students in wheelchairs that is removable with slides, magnets and other means, but won't easily fall off when the student is eating. For this project students draw the design and use cardboard to create the prototype.

The class is in need of cardboard, pipe cleaners and other items for their creations. They are also looking for more community service projects to apply their newly developed skills. To make a donation or if you have a potential service project that the students may accomplish contact to see what is needed.

To learn more about EPICS High visit EPICS High. ( For more information about AJUSD schools call 480-982-1110, or visit

Sally Marks
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Tags:Student Engineers
Location:Apache Junction - Arizona - United States
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