SWENext Reverse Engineering Project at Cal Poly SLO

For five weeks, the SWENext club at San Luis Obispo High School was working on a Reverse Engineering project. This Reverse Engineering Project was designed to encourage the girls to continually question and learn how things work. Rather than focusing on reproducing the product, this project focused on the detailed examination of the product’s construction. The students at San Luis Obispo High School formed groups of up to 3 members and decided on a project to reverse engineer. There were four project groups who worked on the following products: a brita filter, a radio, an umbrella, and a pencil sharpener. The students first disassembled their products and sketched the individual components including all details, dimensions, and shading necessary to define each piece. The last couple weeks of the project were spent researching the components and describing the function of the individual parts and figuring out how those contributed to the product as a whole. Presentation day was Wednesday, February 15, 2017. Cal Poly representatives, including the Cal Poly SWE President, attended these presentations. The media types ranged from detailed power points, to a single image with an interactive description of how that product works. Students had the opportunity to ask questions following each presentations which allowed the presenter to show their understanding of the product. Cal Poly SWE’s support throughout this project was a result of the SLO High SWENexter’s request for interactive activities and a more project based club. In following meetings, the SWENexters will continue to develop the skills they learned by applying the thought process of reverse engineering to new projects and challenges.

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