GSU engineering students create flying stop sign

The students enrolled in the Engineering Technology 103 class at GSU, taught by John Frazier, cranked up their creativity this semester by pulling out the “stop” with a flying stop sign. The flying stop sign is close to the actual size and design of the street (stop) sign.

Frazier and the students came up with the idea of designing another unique type of flying device. After some brainstorming, they decided to attempt to design and construct a stop sign that would be capable of flight..

Although some of the students were doubtful about the project, they considered it a challenge and became excited. They began the project and were anxious to see the final result. The project was completed and test day finally arrived on November 9.

The stop sign was flown successfully by Frazier with a number of spectators, including the ETC 103 students, some of the engineering technology faculty and Department Head, Dr. Olusegun Adeyemi, Dr. Connie Walton, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Danny Hubbard, Associate Dean, College of Arts and Sciences and others. The students were excited their project come to life.

Blue core foam and other items, such as carbon fiber rods, toothpicks, music wire, glue, etc., were used in the construction of the craft. Most of the items used were available from local hardware stores.

Electronic components consist of a brushless motor, speed control unit, servos, and a 2.4 GHz technology receiver.

The purpose of the project was to teach students the design process used in the engineering technology field, that begins with a basic idea, followed by a sketch, then a detailed dimensioned drawing that is converted into a digital format, construction of the device and the final step of testing.

This type of project allows students to apply the concepts and techniques learned in the classroom in addition to preparing them for future courses in the engineering technology program.

Engineering technology students must complete a Senior Project prior to graduation. A project like the flying stop sign which incorporates the design process, may also serve as a beginning stage to help spike students’ curiosity and creativity, said Frazier.

Some of the engineering technology principles reinforced with this project includes: graphic communications, electrical motors, propulsion systems, servo mechanisms and basic principles of flight.

While various disc-like devices may exist, through modifications and creativity we designed a truly unique flying device, said Frazier.

Frazier said he encourages his students to be creative because in the field of Engineering Technology, the sky is the limit.

Many students in the class were excited as the project came together.

“I have learned a lot from the flying stop sign project. I learn about all the forces that act on an object in flight structure, integrity, and the design process.”

“Since my first day in ETC, I have been filled with ideas that I felt were awesome and somewhat impossible. I didn’t imagine myself doing any things I thought of but after this project, I see anything is possible,” said Monroe M. Willis.

Melvin Cooke said, “Learning to construct such a device benefited me. I gained knowledge of the principles of flight and a few more exciting things about engineering.”

“Watching the stop sign fly and perform stunts inspired me to make my own flying device.”

“This project motivated me and let me know that I can make something out of nothing.”

“It also showed me that drafting is exciting and if you really learn your material and dedicate yourself, depending on what the project is you can build it in a matter of hours,” said Jonathan Franklin.

“When working on this project I learned the design process as well as time management. We took out time as a team and came out with a great result,” said De’shan Swafford.

Lree Jackson said, “The project introduced me to what is possible through the design process. This experience will benefit me in the future when I seek to build things.”

“Through the work on this project I have become more knowledgeable. I now understand the design process and the steps that must be followed before an end result can be achieved. I also gained a true understanding of basic flight principles and the application of these principles,” said Tiana Bateau.

Jelani Ali said, “The project was beneficial for me because I learned the principle of flight, forces acting on an object and how to apply the principle of flight to a flying device. I received hands on experience on constructing flying devices that utilized what I have learned so far in electronics engineering.”

“From this project I gained the understanding and knowledge on how to sketch things out correctly, and then add measurements and eventually build the final product,” Jason Stargell.

“The stop sign had the exact measurements of a real stop sign. By using center gravity and speed we were able to make it fly,” said Markeith Turner.

“I now understand the big process on how to construct electronic components for a device that has to be built,” said Lamar Smith.

“The project showed me a real understanding of engineering technology,” said Chris Boston.

“Being able to build this project was a great opportunity for me. Not only did I experience more, I also had a good time making the plane fly,” Rickey Wach Jr.

Students enrolled in the introductory course of Engineering Graphics, ETC 103, experience a “hands-on” learning strategy.

John Frazier, instructor of the course, engages students in a learning style that connects principles and concepts with application,” said Dr. Danny Hubbard, interim associate dean of Arts and Sciences at GSU.

Hubbard said students enrolled in the course are required to participate in constructing devices that function and operate in practice.

The latest flying device constructed by the class was a flying object made in the shape of a stop sign (Octagon).

The students are encouraged to use their imagination to come up with ideas that are developed into projects using course content fundamentals of understanding space problems involving points, lines, planes, intersections, revolutions and vectors.

By the end of the course students leave confident and are motivated to build on the course fundamentals in upper level courses,” said Dr. Hubbard.