The Adventures of Engineering

*Crash* *Skid* *Lurch* *AHHH my page!*

The car came to a sickening, skidding stop on the side of the freeway a ways from Oakland. A crazed young man jumped out of his car as our driver gives him a murderous glare. As he approaches the car, apologizes are already pouring out of his mouth. We all look at eachother in shocked confusion. “Ooooooohhhhh nooooo you didn’t!” Mael exclaimed sassily. “Golly wolly, I lost my page!” exclaimed Maria in annoyance.“Gosh darnit, this is a rental car!” moaned Miguel, our appointed parent driver. “Oh my goodness gracious, I am soo SOO sorry sir! I was on my way to a driving test!!” “Well, you failed” stated Miguel matter of factually.

MSEL Engineering

 This unfortunate event kicked off our field trip to Energy Recovery last Friday. Despite this small speed bump, we, as a class, still had a wonderful time at the Energy Recovery Facility. The CEO of the company gave us an intro presentation on what they are followed by a presentation on what products they sell. After all the presentations, we were given a tour of where they made their energy efficient desalination pumps. We learned that compacted ceramics are stronger than steel, and that their technology is 98% energy efficient. After the awe inspiring tour, we tested the prototype windmill turbine designs that we has been working on in engineering for the past two weeks. We then discussed with the engineers ways in which we can make our designs more efficient for future testing. Post windmill discussion, we, after taking a group picture, packed up all of our belongings and embarked on the merciless trek through afternoon Friday rush- hour traffic.

Wednesday, we had to move the old garden fence inwards so we could dig post holes for the new fence. This required tortuously hard work and creative thinking. After discovering that the first two posts were cemented into the ground, we all assumed that the other posts were the same. Unfortunately, this was an incorrect assumption. No matter how deep we dug into the dirt, which was almost as hard as the cement itself, we could not find the edge of the cement casing. We experimentally poured in some water to help loosen the posts out of their dirt prisons.

During this process, many fell victim to the dirt splashes. In a sudden burst of frustration and a couple minor injuries, John Toomey and Mael Sherman pulled the post straight up. And and behold, the post began to move! After three more tries, they were able to pull the post all the way out of the ground! The next two posts were removed, brute strength alone, by none other than Mael Sherman and Cheyenne Biel. By the end of Wednesday’s class, we finished pulling half the posts out of the garden. Every day in  engineering is a new learning experience. We look forward not only to finishing the fence, but also doing other fun projects throughout this school year with our fellow engineers and the magnificent Ms. Oropallo.

− By Mael Sherman and Cheyenne Biel


  1. Omg Mael! The first paragraph in and i was already hooked. It was such a tragedy that my page was lost in this brutal accident. Th fact that the guy we got into an accident with was actually on his way to a driving test was just so ironically funny. I loved that we got to go to their office. It was so cool to test out our models and get their input into how to make them better.

  2. I had no idea about the car trouble that happened. So glad this blog can keep me updated about my class! I liked how you guys incorporated the entire week. Additionally, I love how you included what we learned so we can teach others!

  3. I had no idea you got in an accident! Glad everybody is alright! The field trip to Energy Recovery was such a great day though, especially when we got to eat lunch and chat with the engineers after our tour. Don’t forget about Dylan’s awesome super-close ping-pong victory against one of the engineers! I hope we can go back there again.

  4. Oh my gosh I didn’t even know about the trouble you guys had before reaching Energy Recovery! I’m glad the day turned out okay though.
    Congrats on pulling out the posts! I was doubting whether we would ever be able to get them out, but you proved me wrong!
    I love the intro to your blog, by the way, very enticing!

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