A steel six-wheel shopping cart with nylon webbing siding and child seat won the ninth annual National Engineering Design Challenge for a safer shopping cart, sponsored by JETS, a national, non-profit educational organization that promotes educational excellence in math, science, and technology in high schools. To prove its stability, three students balanced on the buggy's side during competition. The cart stood motionless. A novel six-wheel design is the key to the cart's steadiness. On the standard cart, the turning wheels are in the front and the pivot point is in the back, creating front-wheel steering. The diameter of the smallest circle it can make, therefore, is twice the cart's length. The Queen of Carts' two center wheels not only act as stabilizing wheels and keep the cart going straight, but also are the pivot point. The cart can turn from either end--from front or back around the center wheels. Also, while standard carts carry most of the load in the front over the turning wheels, making them difficult to maneuver under heavy loads, the Queen of Carts can easily carry loads up to 1,200 lb. Alysse Beutel, Patrick Flannery, Judith Luckie, Jessica Rudy, and Rebecca Wilson from West Perry High School in Elliottsburg, PA designed the Queen of Carts. FAX: (212) 967-7292
The engineers and inventors of the post WWII period turned their attention to advancements in electronics, communication, and entertainment. Breakthrough inventions range from LEGOs and computer gaming to the integrated circuit and Ethernet -- a range of advancements that have little in common except they changed our lives.
Neil Fromer is the executive director of the Resnick Institute, a program for energy and sustainability at the California Institute of Technology, working to develop new ideas and research technologies related to providing a sustainable future. He spoke to us about the severity of the current drought in California and how solar energy can help prevent such situations in the future.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.