Two separate teams from Diamond Bar High School finished in the top five in the Source America Design Engineering Challenge this year.
They were tasked with the job of engineering a solution to help nonprofits in the disability community. The two teams would have gone to Washington D.C. to accept their awards and participate in multiple workshops; however, due to concerns about the coronavirus, the awards ceremony was canceled and will be held virtually.
The first team consisted of senior Ryan Lou, juniors Gabriel Cha and Caitlyn Lee and sophomores Ashley Wan and Brian Hsu. The second team consisted of seniors Jonathan Tan, Akilan Arunachalam, Logan Tang, Joshua Chung and Nathan Jong (from Rowland High School).
The first team worked with Fontana Resources at Work Industrial Support Systems, a company that helps employ people with disabilities. One of the products FRW Industrial Support Systems makes is rifle badges that are given to people in the military.
“Our main device was a metal lineman jig that assisted the workers in putting together the badge,” Lou said.
The two pieces consisted of a metal bar and two rifles that were connected by O rings, small metal rings that kept the rifles and bar together. The device made it easier for workers with disabilities to assemble the pieces.
The process of coming up with the device involved much trial and error. The team noticed that the assembly part of the process took the longest and tried to expedite that part with their invention.
“We went through several designs of how to position the two badges and eventually decided on one that was the most efficient and ergonomic for the workers to utilize,” Lou said.
The second team engineered a similar device that allowed the user to put together T-bolts and nuts. They worked together with Ability Counts Inc., a company that provides vocational training and resources to adults with disabilities.
“The device we made helps people with both physical and mental limitations to assemble T-bolts and nuts in a specific orientation,” Tan said via Messenger. “We expanded on the system and were able to assemble five bolts and nuts simultaneously.”
DBHS engineering teacher Johnny Hwang helped both teams by allowing them to use certain machines in his room and advising them on their projects.
The teams registered in the challenge last September and submitted their final product early February. The entire project consisted of a paper, a five-minute video explaining their device and the device itself.