This summer, middle and high school students from around New Mexico took part in a engineering and science field trip, hosted by UNM’s School of Engineering Summer Academy and thanks to a partnership between The University of New Mexico School of Engineering and the Federal Railway Administration (FRA).
This event was part of a three-year project, led by Fernando Moreu, associate professor in the University of New Mexico’s Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering, and his Smart Management of Infrastructure Laboratory (SMILab). He collaborated with the Rail Runner, CN Railways, Florida A&M University and Stanford University on the project.
One goal of this event is to help get more New Mexico students interested in science and attract young people into STEM disciplines.
Using a motion sensor, the Low-Cost Efficient Wireless Intelligent Sensor (LEWIS), made by SMILab, Moreu and 26 middle and high school students conducted an experiment that measured the New Mexico Rail Runner’s trek from Albuquerque up to Santa Fe. LEWIS sensors allow accurate measurements of an object’s position over time while using affordable equipment within a simplistic design.
The students plotted the entire train ride using one LEWIS and a Google Chromebook. The data collected could be used by the savvy future railroaders to find locations of concern during the ride and eventually inform data-based centered management decisions for railroads.
To read more about this summer event see: http://news.unm.edu/news/school-of-engineering-summer-program-hits-the-rails-to-attract-middle-and-high-schoolers-to-stem