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Moscow Polytech
28 December 2018

Engineering Start 2018: a test by water, crocodile-woodpeckers and hippopotamus-motors

One of the major engineering competition tournaments for first-year students “Engineering Start” was held at Moscow Polytechnic University.


“Engineering Start” works as a profession-oriented test – like the first visit to the anatomic museum for medical students, the tournament helps young engineers to understand how comfortable they feel themselves in the profession. “The competition allows to express one’s creativity at the very first stage of studies. This year 48 academic groups took part in it, and many offered rather non-standard solutions” – told us Director of the Center for Project Activities Ilya Lepeshkin.

The students were supposed to solve five tasks. According to the legend, the team went on a water research expedition. During the expedition the participants encountered problems they had to overcome. For example, to leave safely the launch port, it is necessary to skillfully navigate the ship along the fairway. The boat has to choose the proper flow route indicated by the dispatcher. Another test is a storm, which took the crew away from the route, as a result of what the boat hit the coastal rocks and gave a leak. The team has to figure out how to pump out the water. However, despite all the efforts, the boat is sinking, so the team lands at a rugged coast a few kilometers away from a dormant volcano. To get to the top of the hill, an all-terrain vehicle has to be assembled. In addition, the participants face the need to heat up the water for the supper and to cross by air the river, full of predatory crocodile-woodpeckers and prompt hippopotamus-motors.

All these tasks help students develop engineering thinking, acquire the valuable experience of teamwork, learn to distribute responsibilities within the team and achieve a specific result under deadline conditions.

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