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Ministry of Education.
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Bike shelter

The Senior Engineering Group (an extension group selected to work on a technology project) identified the need for a new bike shelter, as the existing stands were old, rusty, and bent. They made a video of the stands which also highlighted associated problems, such as users lifting bikes over a fence or pushing them up a steep hill, which they showed to Futureintech Ambassador Kenny Liew, a process engineer who supported their work on the project.

The engineers researched the bike racks used in other schools and considered materials, security, location, and any restrictions they would need to take into account when designing. This included access, as the adjoining high school had recently erected a fence which prevented students bringing their bikes through from that side of the school. *

After interviewing current bike stand users and the school caretaker, and measuring the area, the engineers decided that moving the stand would make it more accessible, and relieve the congestion as bikers tried to get their bikes in.

The team sketched some concepts and, with advice from Kenny on orthographic drawing, developed their best ones. They then decided on a final working design which included features such as roofing and sides to make a permanent shelter, portable bike racks, rainwater collection, padlocked gates, and a helmet rack. This design also allowed for efficient traffic flow patterns around the bike rack before and after school.

The Engineers then had to consider whether to use rigid or flexible materials for the stand. They searched the Internet to find the kinds of bike shelters that were available, and decided to use waterproof, structure-flex fibreglass for the roof, plastic for the walls, and a sheet-metal gate. They chose a bike rack they had seen at another school that was made of galvanised iron in a robust design.

The group members took on some tasks individually or in pairs. Two students met with the Chair of the Board of Trustees (BOT) to discuss putting a gate in the fence for easier bike access. The chair had another plan for a gate, but after inspecting the fence with them he agreed to change this and put in a gate to suit the bike riders. A discussion was also held with the head of the BOT property committee about the proposed bike shelter. As a result of these consultations the engineers changed their design to incorporate netting sides for the shelter, on the grounds that these would not break as easily if knocked.

* Ultimately the fencing was not an issue, as the bike racks were sited elsewhere. The school is still hoping to get funding for the shelter the team designed.

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