☷Cadets display academic research during Projects Day
U.S. Army ( By Press Release office)
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From Bartlett Hall to Michie Stadium , static displays of the latest academic research conducted by over 1 , 000 cadets filled the halls with spectators taking in the dynamic sights and sounds during the 23rd annual Projects Day on April 28 at the U . S . Military Academy . From Bartlett Hall to Michie Stadium , static displays of the latest academic research conducted by over 1 , 000 cadets filled the halls with spectators taking in the dynamic sights and sounds during the 23rd annual Projects Day on April 28 at the U . S . Military Academy . ( Photo Spc . Ethan Scofield/27th Public Affairs Detachment ) More than 1 , 000 cadets displayed and presented over 400 capstone research projects on multiple subjects ranging from English to Math throughout various grounds and facilities during the 23rd annual Projects Day on April 28 at the U . S . Military Academy . From Bartlett Hall to Michie Stadium , static displays of the latest academic research conducted by cadets filled the halls with spectators taking in the dynamic sights and sounds . The USMA Steel Bridge team members , Cadets Skylar Franz and Blake Stevens , opened up with a two - scale bridge display capable of holding approximately 2 , 500 pounds of weight . With both cadets pursuing an engineering career , this project allowed the cadets to think outside the box and find unique solutions to problems . It also allowed them to build engineering experience in fabrication , which involves implementing and refining the manufacturing process . “Initially , we broke up into two design teams . From there , we had Systems cadets help us as well . ˮ Stevens said . “They helped us make the best decision based on the two different initial designs and from there we went and made a 3D model and then optimized all of the numbers to meet the strength requirements . ˮ Franz said this experience gives them some technical expertise in the engineering realm when it comes to welding , grinding and cutting . Meanwhile , Cadets Kyle Kass and Ashton Perez presented their Ultra - High - Performance Concrete Impact testing project , which takes ultra - high performance concrete and molds it into a 3 - inch cylinder . Then they shoot high - speed projectiles to simulate an impact load from a bullet . “So Ultra - High - Performance Concrete is not necessarily a new type of concrete , but itʼs becoming more widespread , and what it does is it has silica additives as well as well - graded quartz sands . Then it also has the addition of small metal fibers in it , which helps drastically increase its strength , ˮ Kass explained . He added that a specific type of Ultra - High - Performance Concrete , core tufts , designed by the U . S . Army Corps of Engineers , has up to 10 times the compressive strength of normal concrete and then three to five times the tensile and flexural strength of normal concrete . Furthermore , Kass and Perez are trying to explore what thickness of concrete will stop a projectile and what the spalling and shrapnel look like if a specific thickness stops a projectile . “We want to see the bullet penetration in that concrete so we can potentially better design these precast barriers such as the Texas - T barriers or the U - bunker that are put on forward operating bases in order to better protect our Soldiers , ˮ Kass added . In the medical field , Cadets Megan Colpo , Jonah Park and Alyssa Lee researched cells and bioprinting with the promise of improving meniscus health in the knee for service members . “One thing about the Army is that you do a lot of high - impact exercises . From rucking to airborne , thereʼs a lot of pressure on your knees , ˮ Lee explained . “One of the most common injuries in the Army and also in the civilian world is meniscus tears . ˮ The meniscus is a tissue in your knee . Itʼs a piece of cartilage that helps with shock absorption . When the meniscus tears , it doesnʼt repair on its own since it is cartilage and itʼs primarily avascular , so thereʼs no blood flow to that area . Usually , one needs to get surgery , which in most cases , they can either cut out the damaged part and then put in gel inserts , or they could try to repair it , but neither of which are very effective . “Our goal was to create a meniscus that was able to be applied through the use of 3D printing and bio - inks , ˮ Lee said . “Weʼre in the early stages of this project . So , most of our work is figuring out what the cells can grow in and the mechanical properties of our scaffolds . ˮ As the event concluded , cadets reflected on how the research they compiled and the arduous work they put into their projects have improved their leadership skills immensely . Cadet Kristina Hughes , who worked on the Autonomous Aerial Cargo Delivery system with Cadet Kathrine King , learned the importance of practicality and how Soldiers need to operate with equipment thaʼs easy to use and effective in getting the mission done . “I learned the importance of how engineering meets real - world experience , ˮ Hughes said . “Soldiers need equipment thatʼs practical and easy to implement . At first , I think some of our designs tried to do a little too much too soon . ˮ On top of gaining engineering experience , Stevens learned the importance of project management , the management of resources and working cohesively in teams . “I would definitely say this process taught me the importance of finding solutions to complex problems as well as building project management skills , ˮ Stevens said .
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