Reverse Engineering Challenge Part of Manufacturing Month Activities

Adult instructor and teenage students standing around a table working on a project in a classroom.

As part of the Southern Minnesota Tour of Manufacturing, students get the fantastic opportunity to visit the Minnesota State Engineering Center of Excellence tour stop in Mankato and take part in an exciting event known as the Reverse Engineering Challenge. The Center is all about promoting engineering and engineering technology programs for all ages from “k” to “gray”, making education more exciting and connecting it with industry while igniting the spark of inspiration in students.

The Reverse Engineering Challenge is the centerpiece of the tour visit. Teams of two to five students roll up their sleeves and embark on an engineering adventure. Each Team is presented with a challenge scenario – and a mysterious device to address the challenge. Their mission? To become reverse engineering detectives, just like the pros on TV, and figure out what that device does

First, they'll dissect and inspect that intriguing gadget down to the smallest detail. Think of it as a high-tech treasure hunt! Their goal? To find the technology hidden within that can be used to tackle the challenge at hand. It's like unlocking the secrets of a modern-day puzzle.

But that's not all! Once they've cracked the code, they'll put their heads together and create a clever solution using the technology they've uncovered. Their brainstorming sessions will be the birthplace of innovation.

But here's the cool part: they won't keep their genius to themselves. They'll step into the spotlight and present their brilliant solution to others, showcasing their teamwork and communication skills. It's their chance to shine!

But don't worry, we won't throw them into the deep end without a paddle. Before the challenge, they'll receive a sneak peek of the scenario so they can prepare to conquer it with flying colors. Their team will be evaluated based on teamwork, how well they present their findings, and the awesomeness of their proposed solution.

In a nutshell, this activity isn't just about learning; it's about having a blast while exploring the exciting realms of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).