Seventeen high school students from Camden County came to the Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center to present their innovative design projects inspired by the world of sports and the life of the Hall of Fame catcher to a panel of expert judges. The day was the culmination of a month-long summer program held at Camden County College during which the students learned to use Solid Edge® software, a state-of-the-art computer-aided design program (CAD) created by Siemens PLM Software. Challenge participants implemented the software to design 3D prototypes that addressed real-world problems from the world of sports. Prototypes were later printed on a 3D printer.
The students began the day participating in the Museum’s STEM programs, making use of PITCH, the Museum’s new interactive installation, and other radar technology to learn about physics and math. After lunch, four teams presented their designs to the panel of judges that included Lars Nauheim, director of Global Operations for Siemens; Donna Wright, senior marketing manager of Siemens; Patti Jo Rosenthal, manager of K-12 Programs for ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers); and Kavitha Davidson, professional sports writer. Projects included bamboo-lined shin guards to prevent skin rashes, customized knee pads to protect the knees, sports goggles enhanced with augmented reality, and “Ear Buddy,” an ear bud featuring GPS for visually impaired runners.
“The student solutions were incredibly creative and ambitious,” said Eve Schaenen, the Museum’s executive director. “As a Learning Center, the Museum has worked hard in the last year to develop fun and exciting ways to engage young people in STEM. This new partnership with Siemens and the Camden County Schools represents another way for us to leverage the common bond of sports to expose students to important subjects like engineering and digital tools like Solid Edge. Our hope is to build on today’s experience so that this design challenge can reach many more students in the future.”
In the end, the four judges were so impressed with all the projects that they awarded each participant an Amazon gift card and a license of Solid Edge software for students, along with T-shirts and a Yogi Berra Museum #8 ring in honor of the player who inspired the competition.
Lars Naunheim, director of Global Operations for Siemens – and an ardent baseball fan – was full of enthusiasm for the pilot program, which he helped spearhead after a visit to the Museum this past February. “Siemens PLM Software is pleased to collaborate with the Yogi Berra Museum to offer a summer camp program which introduces students to STEM and engineering with a design challenge that combines sports and math in a fun and creative way. It is a unique opportunity and privilege to support the museum’s mission of offering sports-based educational programs and to promote Yogi’s values around teamwork and excellence.”