Academy of Engineering Students Create Chair Lifts

Posted on March 24, 2014, in Academics, Lancer Life


It’s hard to imagine ski resorts today without chair lifts. But how exactly do these things work work?  Just ask the GMHS Academy of Engineering students, who learned all about this engineering aspect of ski resorts.

Penn State Behrend’s engineering faculty and staff Melanie Ford, Steve Stromm and Lucy Lenhardt spoke to students in the GM Academy of Engineering Program last week about people movers — specifically focusing on a chair lift.

Students were then asked to create and build a chair lift that would carry a ping pong ball up the mountain (from the floor to the table top) and back down again. Students were given limited supplies. The speakers then modified the design to lift two ping pong balls, and then again to lift two golf balls.

Exposure to guest speakers in the fields are just one advantage of the academies, which launched during the 2012-2013 school year as a way to offer one of the best academic experiences in Erie County. General McLane’s partners, which are local higher education institutions and businesses, work closely with high school faculty to develop lessons and experiences to give high school students an up-close-and-personal look at what a career in engineering or medicine will look like. 

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