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AUS College of Engineering holds catapult-building competition
Almost 180 engineering freshmen at American University of Sharjah (AUS) competed to build a catapult that could throw a table tennis ball the farthest distance during the popular NGN 110 Introduction to Engineering and Computing Competition held late yesterday, April 27, at the university.
The competition, in its fifteenth edition, is part of the first-year course Introduction to Engineering and Computing taken by all AUS College of Engineering students with the purpose of helping students enhance their teamwork, engineering design, problem solving, time management and communication skills.
This semester's competition focused on building a catapult made out of wooden popsicle sticks, tape, rubber bands and paper clips that could throw a table tennis ball the farthest. The participating students were divided into 36 groups.
According to Dr. Fadi Ahmed Aloul, Professor of Computer Engineering and organizer of the event, "The goal of this competition is to develop the soft skills of engineering students, such as team work, time management, problem solving, communications skills, and working on reports. The purpose is to prepare the students for any job or task they will be a part of after they graduate."
"It is also important to focus on including them in multidisciplinary teams and introducing them to members of different genders, religions and nationalities because we live in a diverse world, and students must acknowledge that. Also, people of different age groups work together and students must understand that in the workforce, you might be working with colleagues from different generations," he added.
The members of the first-place winning team were: Huda Othman Alsawaf, Vesile Guzelel, Yumna Zehra Rizvi, Alice Tarek Abou Chacra and Farah Riad Al Otaibi. The winning group's distance was recorded at 11.2 meters. The runners-up achieved a distance of 10.78 meters; team members were Diana Amer Al-Hafi, Rayan Abdulfattah Hassan, Mohammad Ghaleb Al Sarraj, Abderrahmane Tamdi and Shavaiz Ahmad Khan.
Students from all seven undergraduate degree programs offered by the College of Engineering participate annually in the competition. The college offers bachelor of science degree programs in chemical engineering, civil engineering, computer engineering, computer science, electrical engineering, industrial engineering and mechanical engineering.
In previous competitions, students were required to build design and construct light motor cars, small-scale bridges, tower cranes, helicopters, boats and paper planes among other structures.
The competition judges this year were Dr. Rami As'ad, Assistant Professor of Industrial Engineering; and Aqeel Ahmed, Instructor in the Department of Civil Engineering.
The event was attended by senior university officials as well as a large number of students.