Meet the Makers: USF Students in STEAM!

USF STEAMWe’re really excited about the high level of University of South Florida student involvement at Gulf Coast MakerCon this year.  The USF Students in STEAM exhibit promises to be a particularly fascinating and exiting one.

Kaitlin  Lostroscio,  an Engineering student at USF, is heading up the exhibit, and shares here some of what the students in her group are bringing to Gulf Coast MakerCon.

“This exhibit showcases USF student’s co-curricular as well as personal projects. Many of these projects made use of capabilities and resources that students have available at USF such as 3D printers, laser cutters, and machine tools. These projects demonstrate creative approaches to the design process and highlight the skills (both taught and naturally occurring) of the USF students.

“These are projects which supported our academic courses directly, took advantage of the resources at USF, or furthered our learning outside the classroom at the very least. Some of these projects were in support of the requirements in the Makecourse, Haptics, Bioastronautics, or M.E. Capstone courses at USF. ”

Here’s more on what Kaitlin and and another USF Student in STEAM presenter,  Kevin Martinez, are bringing to Gulf Coast MakerCon.

Asteroid Chipper – Kaitlin Lostroscio

GCMC:  What did you Make?

KL:  As part of NASA’s Micro-g NExT challenge, in the inaugural year, I worked with a 64125043-f570-47c9-b179-e201a694ed5esmall team of USF engineering students to create a rock chip sampling device for microgravity bodies. This device was tested underwater at the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory at the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. The manually operated device successfully chipped small rock samples underwater and even collected one.

GCMC:   Why did you chose this project?

KL: I worked on this project to gain additional hands-on experience while pursuing a B.S./M.S in Mechanical Engineering at the University of South Florida. My teammates and I just went for it, but behind it all, we did it so that we could be a part of ongoing space exploration work and pick up some new skills along the way.

GCMC: What inspired your project?

KL:  The proposal for the project began as a classroom assignment in the Bioastronautics course, but we had the opportunity to submit to the actual design challenge. The chance to continue on for several months and create a final prototype was not an opportunity to pass up!

GCMC: Why do you think it’s important?

KL:  It is important for people to engage people with the space program and to inform about current ongoing goals and missions. This is so that the space program can continue to grow support and, in turn, continue to push toward the advancement of humanity both on Earth and off. We would like to inspire visitors, young and old, to become engaged if not already and check out a pretty cool device.

GCMC:  Why do you think Gulf Coast MakerCon is important?

KL:  Gulf Coast MakerCon is a great venue in which to show the community what we make as students at USF. While we have our annual Engineering EXPO, there’s not always a chance to showcase small group or personal projects like these. So, it’s great to have a place for everyone to come together for a day to celebrate this process of design and creation.

GCMC:  What do you hope to get out of attending MakerCon?

KL: We’re always learning (all of us)! We hope to learn from the community and get some feedback on our projects at Gulf Coast MakerCon.

You can learn more about Kaitlin’s work at her Project Site and at the Challenge site.

Here’s a few other projects that Kaitlin, and USF student, Kevin Martinez, will be sharing.

Mechatronic Legend of Zelda Treasure Chest – Kevin Martinez

This project was made for “Makecourse” at the University of South Florida, a course that centers around 3D modeling, rapid prototyping, and programming an Arduino microcontroller to interface with 3D printed components. More information about the course can be found at Makercourse.com  and at Kevin’s Project Site.
Project Site: http://kevinjmartinez.weebly.com/legend-of-zelda-treasure-chest.html

HAPTICS Project:  Virtual Cane – Ultrasonic proximity sensor with haptic feedback  -Kevin Martinez

Visit Kevin’s project site for the Virtual Cane

Electromagnetism for Interaction with Virtual Objects (AKA – “Ball Drop Simulator”) – Kaitlin Lostroscio

MECHANICAL ENGINEERING CAPSTONE Project – Assistive Device for Folding Silverware into Napkins – Kaitlin Lostroscio

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Come see these great projects and some others by USF Students in STEAM, at Gulf Coast MakerCon 2016!

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