Let's Build, Engineering Extravaganza With help from an NEF grant, the Hillside Family Engineering Extravaganza welcomed nearly 300 parents and children on a recent Saturday morning to solve engineering design challenges together. Activities included designing REAL Angry birds (working catapults) and windmill blades, making bubble wands, and saving Humpty Dumpty by building contraptions to protect a real egg from a real fall. Engineers from around Needham joined the Extravaganza to demonstrate projects as did Olin College students and the Needham High School robotics teams HackHers and T-10. Robots from MIT and a 3-D printer from Olin were also popular with children and parents alike.

3D printer

It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s a … 3-D Printer!

Students in the robotics club at Needham High School unboxed a new 3-D printer, funded by a grant from NEF, to be used by the club and soon in the school’s new robotics class. Using the printer, students will be challenged to design 3-D objects and write the necessary computer code, which the printer reads and turns into the corresponding 3-D plastic models. What was the sample design on that first day? The NEF logo, of course!