Engineering as a Career
When the 4th grade went to the Boston Museum of Science, they were challenged to "Dream Big", put on their engineering hats, and explore ways to design a bobsled.
The students were introduced to a real-world engineer when Mrs. Ward-Bowen's nephew Adam visited St. MIchael's. Adam Bowen is a mechanical engineer at Matternet, a technology company in California that uses drones to transport goods. He shared insightful information with our students about the importance of teamwork in engineering and how the design thinking process is used at Matternet when testing and building drones.
Students asked insightful questions such as "How high can the drone fly?" and "What is the battery life, is it rechargeable?". But the most exciting part of the visit was when Adam flew a drone he brought and the students had a "drone's eye view" using specialty goggles.
What does Matternet do?
Make access to goods as frictionless and universal as access to information. Our products enable organizations around the world to build and operate drone logistics networks for transporting goods on demand, through the air, at a fraction of the time, cost and energy of any other transportation method used today. (Mission statement)
In countries that do not have the infrastructure to support bridges or roads, villagers may be able to get essentials but have a harder time accessing modern needs such as medications and or technologies like laboratory results. Drones can be a more cost effective and time saving option than paving roads or driving long distances to facilities.
"The Government of Malawi and UNICEF have started testing the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs or drones) to explore cost effective ways of reducing waiting times for HIV testing of infants. The test, which is using simulated samples, will have the potential to cut waiting times dramatically, and if successful, will be integrated into the health system alongside others mechanisms such as road transport and SMS.
The first successful test flight completed the 10km route unhindered travelling from a community health centre to the Kamuzu Central Hospital laboratory. Residents watched as the vehicle took off and flew away in the direction of the hospital. (pictured above)
Switzerland has a strong infrastructure but that also means traffic. In situations where a hospital can’t wait for a courier, a drone can take a package above the city skyline, avoiding traffic and lights. "Swiss Post, the EOC hospital group in the canton of Ticino and drone manufacturer Matternet are implementing the commercial use of drone logistics in which modern delivery drones will regularly carry lab samples between two hospitals in Lugano."
"Part delivery van, part helipad—that pretty much describes a handful of Mercedes-Benz vehicles that are currently cruising the streets of Zurich." Matternet and Mercedes-Benz are partnering to create on-demand delivery vehicles that act as rolling distribution hubs for aerial package delivery. A three-week trial in Zurich used the drone-van combo to deliver goods for a local e-tailer Siroop.