Reverse Engineering to Design Forward, or What Do Staplers Have to Do With Social Studies?


Dr. Steve Shooter


Engineering. Anthropology. Archaeology. History. Cyberinfrastructure. Gutenberg. Benjamin Franklin. Chester Carlson. The Stapler. The Kindle. How are these related? In 2007 we received a grant from the National Science Foundation to explore how the cyberinfrastructure can support exercises in product dissection and reverse engineering. As part of the project we collaborated with a Lewisburg middle school social studies teacher to develop an education module. The result was a three-week Webquest where students used collaborative learning and role play to discover the connections among engineering, anthropology, archaeology and history. Last year, at the end of the Webquest module I gave a talk to the sixth grade that tied it all together. This is that talk. “Are you smarter than a [sixth] grader?” Join us and find out.

Steve Shooter has been a professor of Mechanical Engineering at Bucknell University for 14 years. He is here at IHMC working with Jerry and Peter on the walking robot. In addition to robotics he does research in information management for product development. He is also active in outreach activities to the schools.