Engineering Field Animates the Minds of PGMS EAST Students


Engineering Field Animates the Minds of PGMS EAST Students
8/14/2013 3:39:18 PM

Students learn how digital animation can relate to engineering, plan to create digital animations.

On Friday, March 13, 2011, nine members of the Prairie Grove Middle School EAST class attended a two-hour training session at The Engineering Institute in Farmington, Arkansas.

The students were given a tour of the facility and shown how forensic science and animation come together to help engineers recreate accident scenes for ongoing accident investigations. Engineers cooperate with lawyers and local police departments by conducting their own tests, both with actual vehicles and with computer animated creations. Their data is used to not only solve open cases, but to create stronger vehicles and new safety standards for all types of vehicles worldwide.

In a hands-on session, the engineers showed examples of both animation and simulation and discussed how the two, along with mathematics, come together in the Bio-Mechanical Engineering field where engineers work with vehicle manufacturers to create video simulations of ATV and vehicle rollover accidents. Their findings help to create a stronger product that will hopefully prevent major injuries from occurring.

EAST students were shown how to use the Maya software, similar to SoftImage, a high-performance 3D character animation and visual effects application used in EAST classrooms, to digitally animate a car as it rolled down an embankment, watching as it crashed into the gulley below. Working with the digital animation software re-sparked the creative interests of PGMS EAST students and they raced back to school to give their SoftImage software another try in their classroom.

The students learned a lot about the engineering field in their visit, and now know that their love for animation can be fostered in a career field that is both exciting and rewarding. They have been invited back to The Engineering Institute to watch as detectives investigate an actual accident vehicle and to witness a crash test dummy smash into a windshield at a high rate of speed.

PGMS EAST extends a big Thank-You to The Engineering Institute for working with us to set up this exciting training! A personal thank-you to Sara, Chandra, and Digvijay for providing the tour of the facility and for showing us the exciting software that brings animation to life in the Engineering field.



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