As a freshman, for me
this class has opened my eyes to the limitless possibilities
that MIT has to offer.
I want to explore things.
I want to learn things I've never seen before.
Earth, space, water, all those things
that engineers have to work with and to deal with.
In 2.00A Fundamentals
of Engineering Design, we encourage
students to go beyond what is familiar-- that is,
pushing you into territory that is inherently
unfamiliar, and therefore, really engaging you
in true exploration.
This year we're doing aircraft.
So the process has to adapt to those different circumstances.
In the beginning, we make airplanes
that are comfortable to fly, that they have seen before.
By the end, we're building things
that look pretty unusual.
We wanted to make our plane look like a bird,
fly like a bird, because it seemed pretty complicated.
And we wanted to see what it takes
for a bird to actually fly.
To emulate biology, it's very challenging.
There's two main things that we have
as ambitions for our project.
That was flapping wings, and the other part
was a pneumatic tail.
We use a piston.
We have three air muscles that will control the tail,
whether it will go to the left, to the right, up or down.
It's more complicated than it has to be,
but really, the purpose of our project
was to learn how to do things we wouldn't learn anywhere else.
The value of actually building
is really critical to becoming an engineer.
We want to give students a realistic view
of the degree to which the fundamentals can help
them progress in a project.
But then, as you try more unusual configurations,
in some cases, you have to shift to a more empirical approach,
and just cut some things, go out to a field,
and try flying them.
That's what you do.
We're in mechanical engineering.
You have to go through the full process.
You don't start already knowing the solution.
You don't start already knowing the question.
You actually have to figure out, what is the question?
I like to make things.
I probably make one or two airplanes a month, myself.
And so I feel comfortable when they get into a box,
and they need some help.
I think Professor Frey, just
like, there is some energy about him
that he just makes the class fun, no matter what he's doing.
The fact that he always
brings in his own little creations that he makes,
and they're mechanical engineering concepts.
So I think it's really awesome about this class is
that you can see how you can use those concepts for fun
things that don't necessarily have to do with a career.
The biggest thing, I think, that I
learned is that it's about the process, not about the product.
The fact that we went through all these struggles together,
we learned so much, we do SolidWorks, we do MATLAB.
We do everything that mechanical engineers probably
We even use differential equations sometimes.
So I think it's a great intro to everything.
And, this class has made
the first year amazing for me.
You get to experience the best of MIT in this class.