The intersection between art and engineering
So what does origami have to do with engineering?
That’s the question posed to girls ages 6 through 8 during this week’s Exciting Endeavors day camp hosted by Discovery Space of Central Pennsylvania.
The half-day camp is designed to expose girls to career opportunities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
The camp’s unit on origami was led by Mary Frecker, professor of mechanical engineering, and Rebecca Strzelec, professor of visual arts at Penn State Altoona, with help from college and high school student volunteers.
For the girls, it was an eye-opening lesson on the intersection of art and engineering. They learned how engineers use origami’s folding principles to design everything from stents that are inserted into the body to help open a blocked blood vessel to tires for Mars rovers that can greatly expand and contract, making it easier for the vehicle to explore planetary surfaces.
The point, Frecker said, is to show the girls how engineers team with artists to solve problems and develop designs.