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DIY Costumes That Will Light Up The Night!

Happy Halloween: Vol. 5


Been thinking about that perfect Halloween costume? Sure, you could go to a store or online and order something, but what fun would that be? You want something special – uniquely yours, right? We’re here to help you make your very own Halloween costume and light up the night!

Not sure how to get started with creating wearable tech and your own costume? We have Lilypad in our Tool Library! Lilypad is a set of sewable electronic pieces which will help you build soft interactive textiles. There is a small programmable computer, conductive thread, LED lights, battery and battery holder, conductive fabric and more – all you need to get started working with wearable tech! Make : Wearable Electronics will help you learn the skills you need! Once you get the hang of it – you can make your own light-up dress like the one Lupita Nyong’o wore at a Star Wars©  promotional event!

Butterfly Dress designed by Alexander Reeder

Butterfly Dress designed by Alexander Reeder


Perhaps you are going dressed as a “social butterfly.” What could be better than a dress with butterflies that actually flap their wings? If you are interested in wearable tech that utilizes motors, both Make: Wearable Electronics and Making Things Move: DIY Mechanisms for Inventors, Hobbyists, and Artists can help you learn to do just that!

Maybe a light saber more your style? has several DIY lightsabers (from Padawan to Jedi Master!). With MaKey MaKey (available in our Tool Library!), you can make the light saber sounds!

Mjolnir - Thor's Hammer

Mjolnir – Thor’s Hammer


Always dreamed of being Thor? Check out this video and then read up on fingerprint scanners in Fundamentals of Applied Electromagnetics to see how the DIY Thor’s hammer is created! Visit instructables for more superhero LED wearables!


Whatever your costume ideas are we have the resources to help you really stand out!

Two of the many resources we have available to help you make that unique costume!

Two of the many resources we have available to help you make that truly unique costume!



Hartman, Kate. 2014. Make : Wearable electronics. Sebastopol, CA : Maker Media. Engineering Library QA76.592 .H37 2014

Light Saber. 2008. Scratch

Ulaby, Fawwaz T. 2015. Fundamentals of applied electromagnetics. Boston : Pearson Education, Inc. Engineering Library QC760 .U49 2015

Lupita Nyong’o wore a light-up dress programmed by young women, and it was stunning. June 16, 2016. The Viral Beat

Other Resources:

Cho, Gilsoo, editor. 2010. Smart clothing : technology and applications. Boca Raton, Fla : CRC ; London : Taylor & Francis distributor. Engineering Library QA76.592 .S63 2010

Tao, Xioming, editor. 2005.  Wearable electronics and photonics. Cambridge : Woodhead ; Boca Raton FL : CRC Press. Engineering Library QA76.592 .W43 2005

The Galaxy Dress. Date accessed Oct. 18, 2016

6 Ways to Light Up Your Halloween Costume. Make: Explore Maker Camp. Date accessed Oct. 19, 2016

McCann, J. and Bryson, D, editors. 2009. Smart clothes and wearable technology. Oxford : Woodhead Publishing. Engineering Library TT497 .S58 2009b

Pedersen, Isabel. 2013. Ready to wear : a rhetoric of wearable computers and reality-shifting media. Anderson, South Carolina : Parlor Press. Engineering Library AQ76.592 .P43 2013.

Let’s Make DIY wearables wearables. Date Accessed Oct. 20, 2016

To code your own ZAC Zac Posen dress that Lupita Nyong’o wore:
Projects : Check out some of the amazing things you can do with code. Made w/Code Google Date Accessed Oct. 19, 2016



Want The Perfect DIY Halloween Decorations?

Happy Halloween: Vol. 4




Halloween is getting closer and closer and you are planning that Halloween get-together… Looking for the perfect DIY Halloween decoration projects?

scary_pumpkinLooking for a classic scary pumpkin? How about one that lights up? Electronic Projects for Dummies will help you create the perfect scary pumpkins! You’ll end up with 2 pumpkins – one transmits an infrared beam and the second one lights up and plays a prerecorded message or sound. When someone walks between the two pumpkins and breaks the plane of the infrared beam, the 2nd pumpkin will light up and emit that evil laugh!  The chapter, Scary Pumpkins, takes you through the process, step-by-step,  complete with schematics, photos (some in color), parts list and detailed instructions!

What party would be complete without a moving eyeball picture? Haywired: Pointless (yet awesome) Projects for the Electronically Inclined will help you make one! Pick out a picture of your favorite monster, zombie or ghoul – the parts and tool lists, step-by-step photos, schematics and concise directions will help you create your very own moving eyeball picture!! Perhaps you would also like to have one that smiles when someone approaches it? Haywired will show you how to make one! The example they show is of the Mona Lisa, but you can easily adapt it to a ghoul or monster with a toothless grin!scared_cat

Are you into paper projects? Learn to make a light-up paper cat with Paper Inventions : Machines That Move, Drawings That Light Up, Wearables and Structures You Can Cut, Fold, and Roll. The perfect time of year to make a black cat (or several!) to light up your Halloween party walls! It uses very few materials – construction paper, permanent marker, copper or aluminum foil tape, CR2032 coin battery, LED and a small binder clip! It will also show you how to create blinking and flickering effects for even more eerie decorations!

Interested in coming up with your own spooky decoration ideas? Don’t forget to check out what we have in our Tool Library!! We have Lilypad for making wearable tech (think of the costume you could make!), a MaKey MaKey kit – create a keyboard using a pumpkin and Hersey Kisses! Play around with the littleBits to come up with some fun circuit projects – and there is always the Raspberry Pi Starter Kit, too!



For 10 more last-minute Halloween decorations, check out Spider-web balloons, packing tape ghosts, and a meat head…. Because what’s a Halloween party without an edible head….



With a MaKey MaKey (available in our Tool Library) you can make some small pumpkins (or gourds) scream!

No matter how you plan to spend your Halloween, remember to stop in and explore our resources which can help you make it more eerie!!


Boysen, Earl. 2006. Electronic projects for dummies. 2006. Hoboken, NJ : Wiley. Engineering Library TK7819 .M38 2006

Rigsby, Mike. 2009. Haywired : pointless (yet awesome) projects for the electronically inclined. Chicago, ILL : Chicago Review Press. Engineering Library TK99656 .R54 2009

Ceceri, Kathy. 2015. Paper Inventions : Machines That Move, Drawings That Light Up, Wearables and Structures You Can Cut, Fold, and Roll. San Francisco, CA : Maker Media. Engineering Library TT870 .C54 2015

Brown, Casey.  Oct. 31, 2012. Hershey Kisses, a pumpkin, and MaKey MaKey create and open source Halloween. Oct. 31, 2012.

Branwyn, Gareth. Oct. 16, 2015. 10 Last Minute Halloween Decorating Ideas.


Halloween Monster Alert!! How Will You Protect Yourself?

Happy Halloween: Vol. 3



It is nearly Halloween and goblins, mummies, zombies and monsters are everywhere!

How can you protect yourself??


There are several DIY projects that can help you detect those menacing monsters!

“Monster-B-Gone” can be built in 2-4 hours at a cost of about $30 to $40. Make : Technology on Your Time (v. 52, 2016 Aug/Sept) has step-by-step instruction (complete with color photos) that will teach you how to put it together, program it, and add upgrades (i.e. sound effects!). the perfect accessory to have with you as you creep through that haunted house….


Engineering Library TK7882.E2 G685 2012

Perhaps laser night vision is more your style. 101 Spy Gadgets for the Evil Genius can show you how to create your own long-range laser night vision illuminator. There are pictures and clear, step-by-step instructions. The author, Brad Graham, does warn, however, about the dangers of working with lasers and the need for proper laser safety equipment.  This is part of an entire section devoted to “Peering into the Night,” and it may give you more ideas to help facilitate your monster detection!

Maybe you’d prefer a portable alarm system? 101 Spy Gadgets for the Evil Genius has a portable alarm system that is “a simple yet effective security system that is perfect for temporarily protecting an area or building.” There is a parts list, photos, graphics, and complete instructions. And, if you aren’t worried about monsters and goblins, this alarm is perfect for protecting your luggage and valuables when you travel.


Body Heat Detector Circuit Schematic. More Electronic Gadgets for the Evil Genius. Eng Lib TK9965 .I253 2006

Do you have some basic electronic skills and about $30 to $45? More Electronic Gadgets for the Evil Genius will help you create your own body heat detector! Could be useful when you are out searching for zombies (wait, do zombies give off body heat?). Don’t want to go search for zombies and monsters? This body heat detector could help you locate that run-away dog or cat! Full of illustrations, photos and complete instructions, More Electronic Gadgets for the Evil Genius will help you create your very own body heat detector!



These resources should give your creativity a jump-start as you think about Halloween DIY projects!





Monster Detector. Make : Technology on your time. Volume 52, 2016 Aug/Sept.

Graham, Brad. 101 spy gadgets for the evil genius. 2nd edition. 2012. New York, NY : McGraw-Hill/TAB Electronics. Engineering Library TK7882.E2 G685 2012

Iannini, Robert E. 2006. More electronic gadgets for the evil genius. New York : McGraw-Hill. Engineering Library TK9965 .I253 2006


Have a Terror-ific Halloween!

Happy Halloween: Vol. 2

The tress are changing color, the days are getting shorter, the nights are getting longer, and the weather is getting cooler – and that means that Halloween is just around the corner! What better way to get in the mood than to stop in to the Engineering Library and check out the Terror-ific Halloween exhibit! Come and see the many skeletons (including a vampire bat!) and a jar of newts (anybody find the eye?).

Common Vampire Bat Mounted Skeleton. On loan from the Museum of Natural History

Common Vampire Bat Mounted Skeleton. On loan from the Museum of Natural History

Interested in exploring how engineering relates to the human skeleton?

As baby boomers are maturing, more and more are having knees, shoulders, and hips replaced, vision correction surgery, hearing aids, and more. For more information pick up Biomedical Engineering Principles of the Bionic Man.  In it, author George K. Hung brings together principles and techniques for the repair and replacement of organs and joints. It has contributions from leading scientists in various areas, including biomedical, electrical, mechanical engineering, orthopedic surgery, optometry and more. Biomaterials in Modern Medicine : the Groningen Perspective, edited by Gerhard Rakhorst and Rutger Ploeg, is written from a medical perspective and moves through the process of medical product development. It includes information about design of biomedical products, technology assessments, haemocompatibility of medical devices, and tissue and cell interaction with materials. It also discusses several cases studies dealing with these issues.

Lumbar Injury Biomechanics deals directly with spinal injuries, looking at a broad range of causes. Editor Jeffrey A. Pike covers everything from transportation injuries, falls, military injuries, sports and personal violence. This is a great resource for anyone interested in biomechanics accident reconstruction, and rehabilitation! If you are interested in prosthetics, Technology and Touch : The Biopaolitics of Emerging Technologies looks at the development of new touch technologies – from technologies we touch (i.e. keyboards, smart phones) to the technologies that touch us (i.e. prosthetics, smart clothing).

Macaque Skeleton. On loan from the Museum of Natural History.

Macaque Skeleton. On loan from the Museum of Natural History.

Look at these eye sockets!

Did you know that prosthetic eyes date back to at least 2,900 BC? The materials and technology have (obviously) changed a great deal since the beginning. The prosthetic eye has gone from being made out of clay, wood and ivory, enameled silver and gold, glass and now to polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) plastic. Interested in learning more about ocular prosthetics? Clinical Ocular Prosthetics is a comprehensive look at ocular prosthetics and gathers information from ophthalmology, prosthetic eye and contact lens literature. The editors also tackle the psychological, anatomical and physiological aspects of eye loss, and includes patient evaluations, constructing prosthetic eyes, dealing with socket complications and more.

Besides the vampire bat and Macaque skeleton, and the jar of newts, the Museum of Natural History also lent us the casts of a rattlesnake, a bull frog and the skull of a red sheep. The University of Iowa’s Hardin Library for the Health Sciences lent a replica of a human skull – complete (or incomplete?) with missing teeth! They also lent us a replica of leg and foot bones. Thank you to both the Museum of Natural History and Hardin Library for the Health Sciences!

Come in the Library, check out our exhibit, and start thinking Halloween!!


Terror-ific Halloween Exhibit 2016

Terror-ific Halloween Exhibit 2016



Hung, George K. 2010. Biomedical engineering principles of the bionic man. Singapore : World Scientific. Engineering Library RD130 .B565 2010

Rakhorst, Gerhard; Ploeg, Rutger, editors. 2008. Biomaterials in modern medicine : the Groningen perspective. New Jersey : World Scientific. Engineering Library R857.M3 B5727 2008

Pike, Jeffrey A. 2013. Lumbar injury biomechanics. Warrendale, PA : SAE International. Engineering Library RD768 .P55 2013 

Cranny-Frances, Anne. 2013. Technology and touch : the biopolitics of emerging technologies. Houndsmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire ; New York, NY : Palgrave Macmillan. Engineering Library T173.8 .C736 2013

Pine, Keith R. 2015. Clinical Ocular Prosthetics. Cham : Springer International Publishing. Engineering Library RE986 .P56 2015



It is ‘Leaf-Peeping’ Season!

It’s fall!

Don’t miss the trees turning those gorgeous colors!

Fall colors in Vermont. Photo Credit: Elissa C. Johnk

Fall colors in Vermont. Photo Credit: Elissa C. Johnk

The days are shorter and cooler and the trees are changing colors. Beautiful deep reds, oranges, and vibrant yellows…. So, how does that happen, and why in the fall?

Trees that change color are called deciduous (which means it sheds leaves annually) or broad-leaf trees, which have, obviously, broad leaves with a relatively large surface area. Leaves have two purposes – to convert carbon dioxide to oxygen (thank a tree for our fresh air!) and also to convert sunlight into energy for the tree. The large surface area helps the leaves gather more sunlight and therefore, more energy. The leaves “breathe in” carbon dioxide and “exhale” oxygen (for more information about this process check Plant Biochemistry by Florence K. Gleason with Raymond Chollet).

Leaves actually have several other pigments, besides green, which are always present – red, yellow, orange and even purple (beets, carrots, cherries!). The leaves on trees (and many plants) have so much green pigment, however, that the other colors aren’t visible – until fall, that is! The green pigment comes from chlorophyll which is used in photosynthesis (the complex process by which carbon dioxide and water are converted into carbohydrates by using the energy from the sun). The carbohydrates that are formed are then stored in the branches, roots, and buds of the trees.


A deciduous tree which has turned red stands next to a coniferous tree which remained green. Photo Credit: Carol Grow Johnk

We all know that, in the fall, days get shorter and cooler and the nights get longer – and cooler! Broadleaf trees are sensitive to sunlight – they need the sunlight to transform the chlorophyll. When there is less sunlight, the leaves make less chlorophyll, which means the trees become less green and the other pigments begin to become visible. Different types of trees have differing amounts of pigment – for example, trees with more anthocynins (the pigment responsible for the red and purple hues) will be more red than those with less.  Temperature, sunlight, and soil moisture also influence the quality of the fall colors. A spring and summer with ample moisture followed by a dry, cool, and sunny autumn will produce the brightest fall colors.

Why do leaves fall? Without chlorophyll to help them make energy, they are no longer needed. The energy that they have produced is stored in the tree. The other pigments also eventually break down – when there is even less light, or if they are frozen. The only pigment that then remains is brown (tannins), and at that point the leaves drop off. The tree then lives through the winter on the energy that it has stored. When the days begin to get longer and warmer, the tree grows new leaves and the process begins all over again.

(Why don’t coniferous trees – evergreens, firs, etc. – change color and drop their needles? Briefly, needles are smaller, more watertight, more wind resistant and are able to photosynthesize all year long. Since needles have a reduced surface area, they are harder to destroy – and less tasty for insects!).

For a short, easy-to-understand, explanation of why leaves change color in the fall, watch this SciShow Kids video!


Here are resources where you can find more information!

Beck. Charles B. An introduction to plant structure and development : plant anatomy for the twenty-first century. Cambridge, UK ; New York : Cambridge University Press. Engineering Library QK641 .B38 2010

Gleason, Florence K. Plant Biochemistry. 2012. Sudbury, MA : Jones & Bartlett Learning. Engineering Library QK861 .G64 2012

Baranoski, G.V.G. 2004. Light interaction with plants : a computer graphics perspective. Chichester : Horwood Pub. Engineering Library QK757 .B37 2004

Deciduous vs. Coniferous. The Roaming Naturalist. Date Accessed: Oct. 5, 2016

The Science of Color in Autumn Leaves. 2011. The United States National Arboretum.

First man made, biologically functional Leaf that Turns Light and Water into Oxygen. 2014.



Happy Leaf Peeping!!


Photo Credit: Elissa C. Johnk



Time to Kick-Start That Project!

Hey students!
Are you interested in giving your idea, project, or invention a kick-start?
Want to make that project a reality?


A new program, Kick-Start, has been developed for engineering students (undergraduate and graduate) to request funding to pay for prototyping and/or finishing projects using the services offered through the Creative Space, Engineering Electronic Shop (EES) and the Engineering Machine Shop (EMS). There will be ten $500 awards!! How exciting is that!?

There are a limited number of Kick-Starts to be awarded this year – so this is a competitive process! Make sure to check the Kick-Start webpage to get complete details!

Briefly, any student (graduate or undergraduate) may apply for a Kick-Start award. You come up with an idea, find a faculty or staff sponsor, complete an online application form, attend an in-person workshop (approximately an hour), and present your project in April! (Please be sure to check all the rules and recommendations before submitting your application!)

In case you haven’t seen our new Creative Space (what are you waiting for!?) – here’s a video from our Open House.

For more complete details, refer to the Kick-Start webpage. The September 30, 2016 Kick-Start blog also has more complete information.

We have the resources and the support needed to help bring your idea to reality!
So, what are you waiting for?
Kick-Start your project now!!



Interested in doing some “Punkin Chunkin” for Halloween?

Happy Halloween: Vol. 1

The days are getting cooler and Halloween is almost here!

Want to put your engineering skills to work and have fun doing it? How about making your own Punkin Chunkin trebuchet or catapult?

Pumpkin Chucking. Photo Credit Peter Dutton.

Punkin Chunkin. Photo Credit Peter Dutton.

Most of us know what a catapult is, but do you know what is different between a catapult and a trebuchet?  A trebuchet uses a sling and has a counter-weight which, as it is dropped, forces the long arm up to pull the sling and the projectile along a slide at the base. The counter-weight uses the pull of gravity to provide the force necessary for the arm to swing upwards. The sling increases the length of the arm which increases the length of the throw. The catapult, on the other hand, uses a leaf spring mechanism to release the long arm. A rope is wrapped around a rotating drum and when the spring mechanism is released, so is the arm and the projectile. A catapult also has a cup at the end rather than the sling that a trebuchet has.

In 15 Dangerously Mad Projects for the Evil Genius, author Simon Monk says, “The trebuchet takes its energy from the weight that falls as the arm swings. The ‘potential’ energy is transferred to the arm and sling of the trebuchet and is released as kinetic energy in the tennis ball.” (or pumpkin…). He then explains that when you know the energy stored in the weight and how far the projectile can be thrown, then the energy going into the system and the energy released can be measured.  Input energy can be calculated using the formula: E=mgh where ‘m’ is the mass of the weight, ‘g’ is the gravitational acceleration on Earth (9.8) and ‘h’ is the height.  You can also calculate the amount of energy transferred to the tennis ball using the distance it traveled and its weight. E=1|2 mv2 where d=v2|g v2=dg. You can then calculate the efficiency of the catapult by dividing the energy transferred by the energy input.  From this, you are then able to calculate the efficiency of your trebuchet! Ready to try to build your own? Monk also provides step-by-step, illustrated instructions, including a list of parts needed! The trebuchet project is  rated as “Small,” (1/2 day to 1 day to complete) and the skill level receives 2 out of 4 stars (a small mount of soldering is required).

Gravity Catapult. Photo credit: Make : Technology on Your Time

Gravity Catapult. Photo credit: Make : Technology on Your Time

Rather make a catapult? Make : Technology on Your Time (volume 28, pages 84-94) will walk you through the process of building a gravity catapult. The larger the item you want to hurl through the air, the larger the catapult needs to be. Author William Gurstelle cautions that there are incredible stresses on the working parts of the catapult and if something should bend or break, it can be dangerous. He also emphasizes that a catapult is big. Once you build it, you need to have a place to store it (and to use it!) The gravity catapult shown in this issue of Make is small and light enough for one person to move. It also has wheels and (sort of) folds flat. Still want to try your hand? This includes an explanation of how it works, a list of materials and tools needed and complete building instructions accompanied by color illustrations!


Trebuchet. Photo credit: Stirling Warsolf

Trebuchet. Photo credit: Stirling Warsolf

The World Championship Punkin Chunkin contest has categories for both the trebuchet and the catapult.  (Did you even know there is a World Championship Punkin Chunkin Contest?) It’s being held in Bridgeport, Delaware, this year. The goal is to encourage teams to use their science and engineering skills and also attract tourists. All the money raised goes to scholarships and community-based non-profits which support area youth. And in case you are wondering if Punkin Chunkin is a waste of good food, this is what the World Championship Punkin Chunkin Association (WCPCA) website says, “Majority of the pumpkins that are grown for competition are hybrids. Each year, we donate all the remaining edible pumpkins to farmers to feed to their animals. Shooting pumpkins has resulted in us being able to donate over 1 million dollars since 2000.”

If you don’t have the space to build a full-size catapult or trebuchet, how about making a smaller, desk-size version? Watch the video to learn to make a Mini Candy Launching Catapult!



Disclaimer: The Engineering Library does not condone the theft or destruction of personal property or harming anyone while punkin chunkin.



Monk, Simon. 2011. 15 dangerously mad projects for the evil genius. New York : McGraw Hill. Engineering Library TK9965 .M66 2011

World Championship Punkin Chunkin. 2016. Punkin Chunkin

Other Resources:

Punkin Chunkin 2010. Science Channel. Date accessed September 29, 2016.

Desktop Warfare: Jonas Dalidd’s Winning 3D Printed Catapult. 2013.  Make:

How to Build a Catapult – A Popsicle Stick Catapult. 2016. Storm Castle Catapults. Kalif Publishing.

Kids Too Old for Pumpkin Patches? Try Pumpkin Chucking. 2016. About Travel.



It is Banned Book Week 2016!

Banned Books Week 2016

Banned Book Week was launched in 1982 in order to bring attention to a surge of challenges that schools, bookstores and libraries were getting. The purpose is to highlight the value of free and open access to information and the freedom to read. The American Library Association (ALA) reports that between 2000 and 2009, 5,099 challenges were made. According to the ALA, “A challenge is defined as a formal, written complaint, filed with a library or school requesting that materials be removed because of content or appropriateness. The number of challenges reflects only incidents reported. We estimate that for every reported challenge, four or five remain unreported.”


New books are added every year – and some never make it off the list (Catcher in the Rye and To Kill a Mockingbird are two examples). Many of the banned books are novels, but a number of science books have also been challenged.

Here are a few of the many books related to Engineering and Science that have been banned at one time or another:

  • Any writing or discussion demonstrating the heliocentric nature of the universe was banned in 17th Century Europe.
  • Writings by physicist and astronomer Galileo Galilei were banned and he was charged and convicted of heresy by the Inquisition in 1632 for writing, Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems.
  • Books and teaching materials on Darwinian evolution theory, including The Illustrated Origin of Species by Charles Darwin were banned in schools in Tennessee following the Butler Act of 1925.
  • The Menifee School District in California banned Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. It was banned for having definitions that were too explicit.
  • The Golden Book of Chemistry Experiments, written in 1960 by Robert Brent and illustrated by Harry Lazarus was banned in the United States for being too accurate in its scientific initiative.
  • Books and materials on Mendelian genetics have been banned from publication in Soviet-era USSR

If you are interested in exploring Leonardo da Vinci’s engineering works, check out Doing da Vinci. Four builders and engineers attempt to build never-before-constructed inventions! da Vinci’s armored tank, siege ladder, self-propelled carts and even a machine gun are featured on this 2-disc set! Will his creations actually work? Doing da Vinci will show you!

We have many resources that relate to Darwin, Galileo, and da Vinci. Come explore our library and find these titles and more!


Banned Books Week. 2016. Thunderclap, Inc.

Banned Books Week. 2014. Cornell University.

Banned Books in the Sciences. 2016. Albert R. Mann Library, Cornell University.

Gelilei, Galileo, translated by Stillman Drake. 2967. Dialogue concerning the two chief world systems, Ptolemaic & Copernican. Berkeley : University of California Press. Main Library QB41 .G1356 1967

Merriam-Webster’s collegiate dictionary. 1993. Springfield, Mass : Merriam Webster. Hardin Library for Health Sciences PE 1628 W4M4 1993

Other Resources:

Why Diverse Books are Commonly Banned. Sept. 21, 2016 by Maggie Jacoby. Banned Books Week.

Scholz, Matthias Paul. 2007. Advanced NXT : the da Vinci inventions book. Berkeley, CA : Apress : New York : Distributed by Springer-Verlag. Engineering Library TJ211.15 .S36 2007

Letze, Otto, editor. 1997. Leonardo da Vinci : scientist, inventor, artist. Ostfildern-Ruit, Germany : Verlag Gerd Hatje : New York, NY : Distribution Art Publishers. Engineering Library N6923.L33 A4 1997

D’Onofrio, Mauro, Burigana, Carlo, editors. 2009. Question of modern cosmology : Galileo’s legacy. Berlin : Springer. Engineering Library QB981 .Q47 2009

Naess, Atle. 2005. Galileo Galilei, when the world stood still. Berlin : New York : Springer. Engineering Library QB36.C2 N2413 2005

Brasier, M.D. 2009. Darwin’s lost world : the hidden history of animal life. Oxford, NY : Oxford University Press. Engineering Library QE653 .B736 2009


Kick-Start That Project!

Creative Kick-Start

Hey students!
Are you interested in giving your idea, project, or invention a kick-start?
Want to make that project a reality?

A new program, Kick-Start, has been developed for engineering students (undergraduate and graduate) to request funding to pay for prototyping and/or finishing projects using the services offered through the Creative Space, Engineering Electronic Shop (EES) and the Engineering Machine Shop (EMS). There will be ten $500 awards!! How exciting is that!?

Five 3D printers available in the Engineering Electronics Shop (EES)

Five 3D printers available in the Engineering Electronics Shop (EES)

There are a limited number of Kick-Starts to be awarded this year – so this is a competitive process! Make sure you check the Kick-Start webpage to get complete details!

Briefly, any student (graduate or undergraduate) may apply for a Kick-Start award. You come up with an idea, find a faculty or staff sponsor, complete an online application form (available soon), attend an in-person workshop (approximately an hour), and present your project in April!

There are a few requirements which include (but aren’t limited to) keeping receipts and a record of all expenses (a budget spreadsheet template will be be provided). A post-project survey of the Kick-Start program will also be required.

You are strongly encouraged to visit the Hanson Center for Technical Communication for assistance with writing your proposal before it is submitted. We also suggest you fill out a page and use it to post regular, substantial updates on the status of your project. Each update should include photos – of your project, notes or sketches – and text explaining your progress.

There are a few restrictions, one of which is you may not already be receiving funding for this project from any other source. There can only be one idea per submission and a student may only be the primary investigator on one Kick-Start per year.  Students may be co-investigators on more than one project. Be sure to check the Kick-Start webpage for more information.

So what else do you need to know?

One of the Modeling Stations available in the Creative Space.

One of the Modeling Stations available in the Creative Space.

The idea for the project is yours, and may be a finished product or a prototype. You maintain ownership of your idea and anything you build during the project. For inspiration check out United Nations Global Problems.  A team may work on the project together, but one student must be designated as the primary investigator. A primary investigator may be a co-investigator on another project.

You may keep any materials you purchase for your project, but tools purchased should be returned to the Creative Space for use by future makers. This can be a gray area, so please direct any questions about what should be returned to The $500 award may only be used in EES and EMS for materials, tools, and labor, etc. Any unused funds will revert back to the program and will go toward helping another future maker build their idea.

You are required to have a sponsor who will review the requirements of the Kick-Start program and review your application before it is submitted. You will meet with your sponsor a minimum of 3 times during the course of the Kick-Start program. The sponsorship officially ends with the presentation in April, but the sponsor and student are free to continue to work on the project if they so choose.

Remember that ‘failure’ is part of the creative process. The important thing is you learn from these failures and therefore are better prepared for future projects. You will still be required to present your project in April – your presentation can deal with what went wrong, how it could be fixed, what you would do differently, what you learned. As Thomas Edison said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that  won’t work.”

Ellis mitre band saw in the Engineering Machine shop (EMS).

Ellis mitre band saw in the Engineering Machine shop (EMS).

There are so many resources to help you complete your project! Our Creative Space is a great place to begin! Two collaboration tables, each with a quad-screen monitor will help your team work together to imagine your project. There are 4 modeling stations with Leap Motion controllers, Wacom drawing tablets and the high-powered software you need. 3D cameras, a 4400 Dell computer with a video card, Leap Motion controllers and an Oculus Rift virtual reality headset can help you manipulate your project in virtual reality.  EES and EMS have the equipment you need to take your project from virtual reality to reality! EES provides circuit board fabrication, dye sublimation printing, PC board prototypes, laser cutting and etching and 3D printing (among other things!). EMS has sheet metal tools, power hand tools, computer controlled machine tools (among other things!) Staff in both EMS and EES are happy to answer questions and provide guidance!

We have the resources and the support needed to help bring your idea to reality! So, what are you waiting for? Kick-Start your project now!!

Here’s video of the new Creative Space Open House!


Creative Space Open House!!



SEPTEMBER 8, 2016 2:30 – 5:00 p.m.

The Lichtenberger Engineering Library, in collaboration with the College of Engineering, is pleased to announce an Open House to introduce our new Creative Space!

The Open House will be a hands-on experience, allowing exploration of 3D scanning and virtual reality. You’ll also be able to experience the world through the lens of a 360° camera, and play the giant keyboard!

The Creative Space is designed to provide users with the space, equipment and software to Imagine, Tinker, Design, Create!