Engineering with Bows and Arrows

My favorite class so far has to be my Introduction to Engineering Lab 104. I took this class in the second semester of my freshman year, and it opened my eyes to the real world applications of Engineering.

My teacher was Dr. Tran who is also my Biomedical Engineering major advisor. I have known him since my senior year in high school, but it was great to have him as my teacher to get the student-professor interaction in the classroom. I would always recommend trying to take a class that your advisor teaches to really get to know them since they will be advising you for your four years. The main theme of his class was to introduce first year Engineers to the different types of data collection, methods of analysis, and lab reports.

We did one lab report using Dr. Tran’s data collection on telemedicine, which is a form of research he is working on where patients can deliver their own medicine without going to a physician. It was neat to analyze his data to make conclusions which were actually made in real-life research.

My favorite lab report in that class had to be on the study of projectile motion using bows and arrows. We derived the kinematic equations in the classroom which describe the motion of a flying object with the force of gravity. We then shot arrows on the Basilica lawn collecting data on the initial velocity, distance, and angle of the shot. We used our data and the known equations to determine how to shoot a certain shot to reach a certain distance. That may all sound confusing but basically we put physics and engineering into action by shooting bows and arrows around campus. It was very cool to see how the known equations of motion from physics actually apply to things like shooting arrows. This class was my first real experience with applying the technical areas of engineering to real world problems.

Personally, as an engineer, this class was my favorite so far, but I have also really enjoyed my Economics and Philosophy classes that I have taken as electives and part of the Honors Program. All of my teachers I have gotten to know on a personal basis, and they are always willing to help all of their students. As long as you are interested in your major, you will definitely take some enjoyable classes here at CUA and always learn a lot.



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