It’s a Trebuchet, It’s a Hoverboard… It’s the Engineering Club


The halls are quiet and devoid of kids. Then you see Mr. Harris flying down the library hallway on a piece of wood, students chasing after him. 

The hoverboard he was testing is one of the many activities in the Engineering Club.  The members are working on adding to the design and implementing a seat, brakes and a steering system to prevent crashing into lockers. 

The current Engineering Club  is composed of about 10 regular members and club advisor Jason Atkins. The trajectory of club activities after hovercraft is another major student-chosen project in the spring. 

Mr. Atkins wants the club to be accessible to every student. The separate projects allow for students with other commitments to contribute when they can. Fall sports students can contribute during the spring and spring sport students can contribute during the fall. 

Without student drive the Engineering Club would not be the way it is today. Mr. Atkins said he wants to prioritize the students’ creativity and pursue projects that they want. Mr. Atkins wants each group of students to have individualized and hands-on experience with engineering.

When Mr. Atkins first became the club adviser two sophomore girls wanted to make a trebuchet after seeing videos on catapults. This was the first large scale project of the engineering club.

After the girls won a competition with their trebuchet and graduated, it was decommissioned.  Mr. Atkins wants each new group of students to have a fresh start, so projects are disassembled from the previous group of students and the next group of students are assigned to formulate and make a new project. 

Mr. Atkins says he wants new projects built by each student, not people operating someone else’s machine. He wants a unique experience for each group of members because he believes it is ok to be a bus driver but it is cooler to know how the bus runs. 

 He doesn’t want to lay out a path that the club members must follow. Instead, he wants the student to come up and design the project and not rely on previous projects to just operate.

“It’s a great way to have some student voice” Mr. Atkins stated. He wants to encourage students to gain experience in engineering before going to college. Mr. Atkins encourages people to join the club and learn to engineer projects you want with your own hands, on larger scope and sophistication then what is in a typical class.