Iowa State engineers turn LEGO bricks into a scientific tool to study plant growth

Ludovico Cademartiri had what seemed like an impossibly demanding list of requirements for his lab equipment. The Iowa State University assistant professor of materials science and engineering wants to understand environmental effects on plant growth, specifically how variations in climate and soil characteristics affect root growth. That requires highly controlled environments that expose whole plants to environmental … Continue reading Iowa State engineers turn LEGO bricks into a scientific tool to study plant growth

Junior in software engineering turns interest in LEGOs into business

From the LEGO key chains on his backpack to his involvement and dedication to the FIRST LEGO League, it’s clear that Shaun VanWeelden—a junior from Pella, Iowa—has a passion for the little plastic bricks that so often introduce young children to engineering. Last year, he found a way to combine that passion with his love … Continue reading Junior in software engineering turns interest in LEGOs into business

Toying with Technology

Workshop opens access to technology and fun for visually impaired students

An engineering lab in Howe Hall buzzed with energy Tuesday as 12 blind high school students worked in teams to disassemble, assemble, and reprogram robots built from intricate LEGO pieces. They strategized, they speculated, they laughed, and they proclaimed success. No one said “I can’t.” The students were from an Iowa Department for the Blind … Continue reading Workshop opens access to technology and fun for visually impaired students