Engineering Mathematics is an applied mathematics, physics, and engineering course where students study a concept and then apply it to a real project. The simple hydraulic cylinder, for example, allows for the study of simple measurements and calculations of cross sectional area and volume, but also includes properties of physics, such as Pascal’s Law and “mechanical advantage.” Throughout this project, each student has the opportunity to use multiple machines and tools to turn a solid aluminum block into a lever actuated hydraulic cylinder with a pressure gauge.
In this class, Mr. Davis asks the students to design and create a simple hydraulic cylinder that contains a piston, piston ring, cylinder block, pressure gauge, as well as a lever system to provide an input force. The students are free to create their own design dimensions, as long as the given performance and material constraints are met. The students are then expected to use the available machines and tools to build a working finished product.
Maricarmen Del Toro, a senior, has completed her hydraulic cylinder. She designed it to have a mechanical advantage of 40:1, meaning each pound of input force provides 40 psi (pounds per square inch) of output potential. The cylinder Maricarmen built was tested and demonstrated the ability to provide 1000 psi gauge pressure with about 25 pounds of input force. The hydraulic cylinder project gave Maricarmen the opportunity to experience the complete engineering process: taking a conceptual design and turning it into a working finished product. Maricarmen plans to take her experiences from Del Rio High School to the University of California at Berkley, where she will study Civil Engineering.
Engineering Mathematics is offered through the Career and Technical Education (CTE) department at Del Rio High School. Eligible juniors and seniors must have completed Algebra 2 prior to enrolling.
The attached photo: Maricarmen Del Toro is machining the piston for the simple hydraulic pump that she designed and built in her Engineering Mathematics class at Del Rio High School.