High-school students brainstorm on how to make a safer football helmet at Cal Engineering Camp

High school students brainstorm on designing a safer football helmet

Since 1989, the National Student Leadership Conference has invited a select group of high-school students to participate in high-level, interactive summer sessions at university campuses. This week our son is participating in an engineering program at UC Berkeley.

The students explore a variety of engineering fields — mechanical, civil, electrical, and biomedical engineering. Professors and professional engineers tell them about new research and their latest projects. Engineering simulations give students the opportunity to design and build with their team.

In one of the activities, the students toured Levi’s Stadium, home of the San Francisco 49ers. In addition to seeing the field and museum first-hand, the students participated in a collaborative work session — brainstorming on how to make a more effective and safe face mask for football players (see photo).

There is a rising fear of head injuries in sports, from professional to high school. The “safest helmet in football” is HERE.

Other activities have included “engineering rotation,” where they learn how to build a wind turbine, how to start programming, how to solder, and how to build paper-plate towers — all with limited communication; a “trebuchet” challenge, where students design, build, and test trebuchets in their small groups; and a speaker series.

A sample schedule is HERE.

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website SierraCulture.com. Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for 12 years, and he was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News for eight years, among other positions. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing, swimming, and trout fishing in the Sierra.

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