EXPO Night Highlights Engineering, Sustainability Work

A prosthetic hand controlled by brainwaves, a plant-based surfboard, and a fingerprint security lock were just a few of the many projects on display at Expo Night on Dec. 7.

The semester-ending event was held inside the Bellas/Dixon Math and Science Center and featured the imaginative and practical work of students in Berkshire's Engineer and Sustainability classes.

"We created Expo Night last year to showcase what our students have done throughout the semester," said engineering teacher Ben Urmston. "The students have really enjoyed it. Some of them have said, 'I never realized how cool my project was!' They like showing their creations to their friends."

For some students, like Elsie Harrington '19, projects involved solving a real-world problem.

"I chose to make a water temperature monitor for my fish tank because the heater doesn't say or monitor the temperature on its own," she said. "There were so many problems with the tank so I decided to fix the problem myself."

Harrington wired an Arduino board, wrote the code to regulate the heat and installed the new device.

Hudson Tuckerman '20 turned a common campus frustration into his final project by designing a door locking mechanism that used his own fingerprint to open.

"Our keys weren't working so I thought it would be cool," he said. "I learned a lot about soldering and electricity movement in a circuit."

Other projects included Eva Clough '18's prosthetic hand, Charlie O'Neil '18's automatic fish feeder, and Henry Quaintance '20's break-beam sensor for his new puppy at home.

Sustainability students Charlie Rechia '18 and Chris Pilaro '19 teamed up to present an environmentally-friendly surfboard made from algae, while Charlotte Childs '18, Izzy Duetsch '18, and Grace Parker '18 partnered with local farmers and food producers to bring greater awareness of locally sourced food to the community. The group cooked grilled cheese sandwiches using bread from Berkshire Mountain Bakery in nearby Housatonic and Valais cheese from Grace Hill Farm in Cummington, Mass.

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