Define and Inquire


What is this engineering task?

This engineering task is mainly about creating a gadget that converts energy, or transfers energy, or converts renewable energy source to electrical energy, or helps people learn about physics. It should show energy transfer, be aesthetically pleasing, has a purpose or client that this project serves for, is original, does not impact on the environment greatly, and durable and safe for the client and user.

Potential projects

For my own project, the following are a few brainstormed ideas that would reach the goal of this project.

Potential Project #1: A lamp that depicts a scene of the holiday, lights will be used. This device will transform electrical energy to light energy using a renewable energy source so that  will be durable and environmentally friendly. This project will mainly target families, it will serve great as a decorative device. This project will be great for those who would like to have some holiday atmosphere in their home by using my decoration. This project will be original because all of the designs of this device will be designed by myself.  Some constraints are that I will not have enough materials and time for this project.

Potential Project #2: A device that has a spinning tip to clean the gaps of keys on a keyboard of a computer. This device will transform electrical energy into mechanical energy, as the tip of it spins to scrape off dirty bits stuck in between keyboards. This will be environmentally friendly and durable, and safe. This project will mainly target students and teachers, it will serve great as a cleaning device for people with computers and want to give their computers deep cleansing often. This will also be original since I came up with the idea. However, this might be technically hard to make, materials will be hard to find too. The tip, made by a motor, will also be a safety constraint.


Examples of Projects Others Have Made

Flappy Bird:

click here for the video:


  • This toy acts like the real game on an electronic device
  • Really purposeful and challenging
  • Fun to play
  • Demonstrates high skills of engineering and usage of electric energy


  • Way too complicated
  • Not enough materials and knowledge to construct
  • Materials are too complicated

Overall comment

  • This toy seems to be very cool, however, because of its great difficulty to construct, really creating one with limited resources doesn’t seem feasible.


A with elastic potential energy:

Click here for the video:


  • Demonstrates the usage of elastic potential energy
  • Easy to make
  • Materials are easy to work


  • Not aesthetic
  • Simple to make
  • Not challenging
  • Has no direct and interesting purpose

Overall Comments:

  • This toy might be great for teaching physics especially about elastic potential energy, however it is not challenging. Maybe making the appearance of it fancier will make it a better project to create.

Simone Giertz’s “useless” robots

Click here for the video:


  • Funny, fun to make


  • Useless, maybe hard to make

Overall Comments:

  • One of the best designs that I like is this applauding machine. It is actually funny and purposeful in a humorous, joking way. Imagine going to a concert and lazy to clap with your hands! This would help. However, it might be hard to turn electric to machine using wires and motors, but it would be a great challenge for me.

Spinning lamp with house decorations

Click here to view video


  • A great idea
  • Aesthetically appealing
  • Beautiful and purposeful (It would be easy to find a client)
  • Durable


  • Materials might not be enough
  • (If I recreated this project) it wouldn’t be original
  • I might not be able to recreate something as delicate and detailed as this project

Overall Comment:

  • Overall, this project seems to be very beautiful. Although the decorations seems hard to make, the mechanics of science behind it seems to be a pretty medium level. This would be a great project to make, as it defines energy transformation (electrical energy to light energy)

Moon lamp

click here for the video


  • Aesthetically appealing
  • Shows energy transfer (electric to light)
  • Beautiful and has a purpose (for lighting)
  • Safe


  • The process of making it beautiful is time-consuming
  • Materials might not be sufficient
  • Not something that I designed.
  • Not environmentally friendly

Overall Comment:

  • Overall, this seems to be a purposeful and safe project. It also fully demonstrates energy transform and transfer. However, this requires electrical energy, however, it would be difficult to take the renewable source and make it to electrical energy, which, if failed, it would not be environmentally friendly. It is also not a good device for students to learn about physics.


Click here for the video

  • This is a tutorial of how to make gears to help with my project