HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
Blogs
Blog

Bearacade Aimed at Securing Classrooms

NO RATINGS
View Comments: Threaded|Newest First|Oldest First
Elizabeth M
User Rank
Blogger
Sign of the times
Elizabeth M   6/23/2014 5:58:24 AM
NO RATINGS
When I considered writing this article it made me feel a bit nervous to even have to cover something like this. It's a scary sign of the times that people are developing inventions to protect children and teachers from shooters. It seems a shame they should have to, and that more can't be done to prevent these scenarios from even occurring. No matter, it's good that people are thinking of new ways to protect people when they do, even if it shouldn't be necessary. I think this sounds like a good start to trying to block off doors in classrooms quickly, but there is more that can be done to prevent these shootings themselves.

tekochip
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Sign of the times
tekochip   6/23/2014 9:16:10 AM
NO RATINGS
Elizabeth, I feel the same way and I'm really at a loss for words when I see technology applied to such a horible social problem.  I've always felt that the best solution is one that addresses the cause rather than the effect.

ttemple
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Sign of the times
ttemple   6/23/2014 9:33:11 AM
NO RATINGS
tek,

Out of curiosity, what would you say the cause is?

 

And if I were designing this, I wouldn't mess around with plastic.  What is wrong with steel for this design?

 

tekochip
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Sign of the times
tekochip   6/23/2014 10:20:24 AM
NO RATINGS
I won't wax political on an Engineering website, but a barricade is truly addressing the symptom of a greater ill.


Elizabeth M
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Sign of the times
Elizabeth M   6/24/2014 7:02:31 AM
NO RATINGS
I couldn't agree with you more, tekochip.

Elizabeth M
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Sign of the times
Elizabeth M   6/26/2014 4:14:24 AM
NO RATINGS
I agree with you, tekochip, that would be the best solution. But I think in this case, as many commenters have pointed out (myself included), that problem is a bit too complicated to address as quickly as it needs to be addressed. And so other solutions seem necessary, unfortunately.

ttemple
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Sign of the times
ttemple   6/26/2014 9:02:17 AM
NO RATINGS
"I agree with you, tekochip, that would be the best solution."

What would be the best solution?  None has been proposed. "the best solution is one that addresses the cause rather than the effect" is not a proposed solution.

When asked to identify the cause, the response was something about waxing political.  Sorry, this is clearly more of a political issue than a technological problem.  Anyone can build a better door lock.  Anyone can build higher fences.  Anyone can hire guards.  Anyone can hire police, make more rules, attempt to control guns and knives and bricks and sharp pencils, build more prisons, build more asylums, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

There is an elephant in the room, and all anybody can say is "The problem is complicated", or "we need to address the cause, rather than the effect", or "the behaviorists can't figure this out", or "this will take a long time to fix".

In my opinion, not being free to state what the problem is, is another symptom of the problem.

How do we fix a problem when political correctness petrifies us into not even saying what the problem is?  Build little plastic blocks to shove under our doors, I guess.

Perhaps we should invent a better shovel, to dig holes in the sand, to stick our heads in.

Then we won't even have to see the problems that we are too afraid to talk about, let alone try to fix them.

Excuse me for waxing political.

fm
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Sign of the times
fm   6/26/2014 11:06:31 AM
NO RATINGS
We have this annoying tendency to see our current problems as only a recent development. There has been school violence, even on a school-wide scale, for centuries. Way before the paralysis of political correctness, way before permissive parenting, way before video games and action movies, and way before 24-hour video news!

Perspective.

These folks said it right; it's like a fire extinguisher. If bad stuff happens, you want something there to help you survive. It seems to be well-engineered, but it'll all come down to teacher training. Even the best-engineered product can fail in the hands of somebody who doesn't know how to use it. I would hope that this company is producing some well-designed training materials to go with the device.

William K.
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Sign of the times
William K.   6/27/2014 4:45:22 PM
NO RATINGS
@Ttemp, so how about forgetting the PC demons and telling us what you believe to be the actual cause of the problem? I have a few theories but no research to support them. Thus they are simply theories that I have. So mostly I don't share them a lot.

I tend to share ideas that I can prove are correct, or that have a lot of research backing themup as correct. Very few argue with those ideas.

ttemple
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Sign of the times
ttemple   7/7/2014 4:46:08 PM
NO RATINGS
Godlessness.

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Sign of the times
Charles Murray   6/24/2014 4:55:36 PM
NO RATINGS
I agree with you on all counts, Liz. It is indeed a very scary sign of the times that something like this is necessary. The problem is, behaviorists could study this for decades and still not understand all the reasons, the warning signs, and the preventative measures needed to ensure complete safety from these kinds of tragedies. This hopefully provides some measure of improved safety.

Elizabeth M
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Sign of the times
Elizabeth M   6/25/2014 6:01:17 AM
NO RATINGS
Yes, Chuck, you have summed up well what I have tried to express in previous comments. It's so difficult to solve the root of the problem here that these types of measures need to be taken. And it's sad that they do, but this is the way it is right now. While people wish more money was spent on treating the conditions and situations that would cause people to want to cause harm to others by taking guns into schools and shooting them, it's clear that this problem may not be solved for a long time. In the meantime, people must try to protect kids and caretakers and teachers the best way they can.

Bearacade
User Rank
Iron
Inventor Follow Up
Bearacade   6/23/2014 1:09:42 PM
NO RATINGS
Just a few follow up points.

Coming from NE Ohio, our original path followed both steel and aluminum extruding.  The steel piece at this size was too weighty during our prototyping testing with many teachers, did not slide rapidly into place, and was not nearly as quiet as it needs to be.  The aluminum extruding was a challenge due to the wide range of thicknesses needed to both slide under a door, yet be thick enough to prevent both inward and outward swinging operation.

The impact modified polycarbonate survived all of the testing requirements we placed on the device.  Lightweight, but strong.  It also survived ballistic testing, impact testing, and continuous pressure testing.

Coming from a school administration background, it was never my intent to say this is a magic solution.  Safety is a multi-layered process in any public setting.  We work with mental health professionals, anonymous tip lines, open communications, threat assessment teams, and more.

This device was designed for those (hopefully) rare moments when seconds count.  Even if law enforcement is on the scene in 5 minutes, my teachers are the first responders to care for their students.  We wanted something that could be deployed in seconds, withstand more than 4,000 pounds of force, alert administration, and still allow for accelerated egress when that time comes.

No perfect solution and a rather sobering topic to address.

Bill Cushwa

Cabe Atwell
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Inventor Follow Up
Cabe Atwell   6/24/2014 12:10:47 AM
NO RATINGS
Interesting, combine that with Muscatine Middle School's 'The Sleeve' and a bullet-proof backpack and blanket and our kids should be safe and secure. Why not just use telepresence robots or keep the kids at home and attend 'virtual school' instead? Schools are starting to look awfully similar to prisons nowadays but I guess you can't be too careful when it comes to your child's safety. What a sad state of affairs.

fdos
User Rank
Iron
Re: Inventor Follow Up
fdos   6/24/2014 2:12:26 AM
NO RATINGS
@Cabe: Very true you have a good point on it but we have to consider the safety of the children 1st isn't it ?

a2
User Rank
Gold
Re: Inventor Follow Up
a2   6/24/2014 3:15:55 AM
NO RATINGS
@fdos: Exactly, safety measures do come 1st. Right now with no other option being available and safety cannot be overlooked, we have top bare it

Elizabeth M
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Inventor Follow Up
Elizabeth M   6/24/2014 7:07:10 AM
NO RATINGS
I think my last comment speaks to yours, fdos.

Elizabeth M
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Inventor Follow Up
Elizabeth M   6/24/2014 7:05:55 AM
NO RATINGS
Cabe, you've really described the problem quite eloquently. I also think it's sad that there is a need for these type of products to be developed. I can see that school administrators and entrepreneurs are trying to tackle the problem and threat as it exists. I'm sure they also are trying to take measures to mitigate the problem itself and stop these things from happening in the first place. But in the meantime, there is an immediate and present threat, and these products are trying to address it. It's a shame they need to exist.

g-whiz
User Rank
Gold
You need a really good door!
g-whiz   6/24/2014 9:57:33 AM
NO RATINGS
Wouldn't the success of this device depend heavily on the construction of the door? A good, solid core door in a metal frame would be a minimum. The door would also need to free of any glazing. Even then, the sheetrock wall next to the door is weak and could be much more easily penetrated with just a couple kicks. Like they always say, a good defense is a good offence. Cowering in fear just doesn't seem like a good solution to me.

J. Williams
User Rank
Platinum
Re: You need a really good door!
J. Williams   6/24/2014 11:57:15 AM
NO RATINGS
Good points.  Most schools I am familiar with generally have cement block/cinder block walls of decent construction.  Door have to be "kid proof" because they get a lot of "normal" abuse so they are usually of heavy construction.  Glazing is usually an narrow pane of wire reinforced glass and in a shooter situation students can usually be placed against a wall out of sight of the door.  We don't have to make a door shooter proof.  It just needs to slow down the shooter sufficiently that they keep on moving or inhibits them down to the point where law enforcement can deal with the shooter.

But keep in mind, your kids are far more likely to be killed in your own automobile.

Elizabeth M
User Rank
Blogger
Re: You need a really good door!
Elizabeth M   6/25/2014 5:32:59 AM
NO RATINGS
This is a good point, g-whiz, thanks for your comment. I wouldn't know for sure about the type of doors this protects, not having seen the product. I think designers and people using it are just hoping it would somehow help deter a shooter at least from entering if it's not so easy to enter. Of course, cowering in fear and waiting to see if a potential threat enters a room is not an optimal situation (nor is having this threat exist in the first place). It's all quite unfortunate no matter how you look at it, and I guess people are just trying to come up with the best solutions they can for a problem that itself needs to be addressed.

Keithfeldt
User Rank
Iron
Doesn't this promote the problem?
Keithfeldt   6/24/2014 2:02:36 PM
NO RATINGS
Installing this device, "Like a fire extinguisher, the Bearacade is mounted on a wall near the interior door of a classroom," would serve as an advertisement - a constant reminder of school shootings.  Unfortunately, this device will only promote school shootings.  Furthermore, the manufacturer probably knows this and is counting on irrational fear and political reaction to line their pockets. 

William K.
User Rank
Platinum
BEAR acade?
William K.   6/24/2014 5:25:10 PM
NO RATINGS
My first thought, as I read the title, was that I must have missed the BEAR problem in schools. The product woulkd indeed probably discourage most bears.

But the very first thing that such a product would do is help to raise the ambient fear level some amount.

Consider that most schools never experience a shooting or any other sort of problems. And then consider that the same device would keep law enforcement people out if it were used to barricade a room. And I know that in some high schools they would be used to lock the door by kids who would then exit via the window. So just like a lot of possibly useful things, it would likely have unintended consequences if it were deployed.

But it may be a fairly well designed item that will make the manufacturer a bunch of money.

One last thought is that the hole for thye anchor pin would probably fill with dust and dirt in a fairly short time, and then the device would not work. 

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Re: BEAR acade?
Charles Murray   6/26/2014 6:12:20 PM
NO RATINGS
I hadn't thought of it as a reference to bears, William K, but that actually makes sense. The name "Bearacade" probably makes more sense for a product that keeps bears out of homes and businesses (maybe it would sell well in Alaska).  This falls under the heading of products with incomprehensible names.  

William K.
User Rank
Platinum
Re: BEAR acade?
William K.   6/27/2014 5:00:18 PM
NO RATINGS
Charles, I had thought that it was simply a spelling error that got past the spell checker.

I would think that if there is enough clearance to get that under the door that there would also be enough clearance to get a large pry bar under the door. I would also presume that a single 45 caliber military pistol round  fired at the door about 3 inches above the thing, from a distance of 8 feet, would render the door openable. Certainly a second and third shot to that area would leave plenty of clearance for the door to swing over the blocker device. Of course a would-be attacker may not be aware of this.

The arrangement that I saw that would always be effective is one that I saw at a liquer store near Detroit. It had two independant round-ball style doorknobs vertically spaced a foot apart on the door to the managers office, which then required using both hands to open the door. It was not possible to open the door holding anything else. Of course, that managers office also had several shotguns on racks, ready for use. Probably shotguns in a classroom is a poor idea. But the double knobs thing was quite brilliant, I thought.

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Re: BEAR acade?
Charles Murray   6/27/2014 5:20:03 PM
NO RATINGS
Double doorknobs is a clever solution, William K. In that case, necessity is indeed the mother of invention.

AnandY
User Rank
Gold
RE: Good and Bad at the Sametime.
AnandY   6/28/2014 5:34:22 AM
NO RATINGS
School shootings are what most schools in the country fear happening in their institutions. The bearacade is advantageous to some point and disadvantageous at the same time but ultimately it acts as a good way of ensuring that children and people are safe in schools and other buildings while they learn and work respectively. William, the device should be placed somewhere that is only accessible by certain specific people in the room.

Partner Zone
More Blogs
Hacking has a long history in the movies, beginning with Tron and War Games and continuing through The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
In a line of ultra-futuristic projects, DARPA is developing a brain microchip that will help heal the bodies and minds of soldiers. A final product is far off, but preliminary chips are already being tested.
New manufacturing is changing more than just the plant floor. It's changing how manufacturers do business.
Venture capital guru Steve Vassallo looks for companies that think about design, not just technology for technology's sake.
In this TED presentation, Wayne Cotter, a computer engineer turned standup comic, explains why engineers are natural comedians.
Design News Webinar Series
9/10/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
7/23/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
7/17/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
6/25/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Sep 22 - 26, MCU Software Development A Step-by-Step Guide (Using a Real Eval Board)
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6


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.
Next Class: September 30 - October 2
Sponsored by Altera
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service