Students to Design Toys in UB High School Workshop

Release Date: May 12, 2006 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The applications don't say "Santa's Helpers Wanted," but students who participate in this summer's Fisher-Price Cyber-Engineering High School Workshop at the University at Buffalo will be designing toys as they learn state-of-the-art engineering design techniques.

Based in UB's New York State Center for Engineering Design and Industrial Innovation (NYSCEDII) in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and sponsored by Fisher-Price, Inc., the workshop will run from July 10-21. It is open to students entering their sophomore, junior or senior year of high school in September.

"The workshop will allow students to take a product through the conceptual design process, resulting in both virtual and physical prototypes," said Kemper Lewis, Ph.D., interim executive director at NYSCEDII and professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at UB.

The goal is to engage high school students and teachers in the use of engineering techniques, such as virtual and rapid prototyping, simulation and robotics to demonstrate the exciting and rapidly changing field of engineering design.

At the start of the workshop, groups of students will be asked to develop a design concept for a robotic toy, model that concept using a three-dimensional modeling software package, convert the model into CAD (computer-aided design) files suitable for rapid prototyping and create prototype parts using rapid prototyping techniques.

Ultimately, each group will create a finished product that then will compete in a "Grand Challenge" where Fisher-Price designers will judge the toys based on function and aesthetics.

"We are extremely grateful for the generous support of Fisher-Price not only in sponsoring this workshop, but for the company's impact in the Western New York region and its visionary leadership in the global toy market," said Lewis.

This is the first year that the workshop has had an external sponsor.

Workshop instructors are Ken English, Ph.D., deputy director of NYSCEDII, Bahattin Koc, Ph.D., UB assistant professor of industrial and systems engineering, and Venkat Krovi, Ph.D., UB assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering.

Applications must be received by May 19. For more information on the workshop and for application information, please go to

NYSCEDII was established in 2000 with support from the New York State Assembly and the New York State Office of Science, Technology and Academic Research (NYSTAR) to provide state-of-the-art techniques and expertise to help New York State industry become more competitive. The center provides basic research, education and training and industrial outreach in immersive and high-end visualization; rapid virtual prototyping; Internet-based systems for design, computer-assisted design graphics and three-dimensional modeling; real-time interactions with design and analysis simulations; visual interaction with high performance computing applications, and sensory and haptic (touch and feel) tools and interactions with virtual simulations.

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