Research Engineering and Learning Institute Anthony Valenzano

Concept Design Document 2005-1 REV-1

Maxwell's Laboratory
Research Engineering and Learning Institute Concept Design Document
Written by: Anthony Valenzano

The United States is quickly losing it's technical edge over the rest of the world1. There are many reasons for this, but one reason clearly presents itself; less interest in engineering. Forty years ago, with the space race, engineering interest in this country was at it's peak. Now, unfortunately engineering interest has dwindled to almost imperceptible levels. One possible reason for the lack of interest in engineering could be that it has become localized to a few parts of the country. The rest of the nation is left with little, or no engineering at all. This causes our country to miss out on many potential engineers, because quite simply, children do not know Selection From: Rising Above The Gathering anything about it. Without the Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future. National Academy of Sciences. 2005 media attention, like from the space race, science and engineering has lost accessibility to children whose Programme for International Student Assessment parents are not involved in those measured the performance of 15-year-olds in 49 fields. There is also another industrialized countries and found that US students scored fundamental issue that blocks in the middle or in the bottom half of the group in three important ways: our students placed 16th in reading, 19th children's understanding of in science literacy, and 24th in mathematics. engineering, in that a child can not After secondary school, fewer US students easily observe these technical fields pursue science and engineering degrees than students in in society. Doctors, lawyers, and other countries. About 6% of our undergraduates study teachers can all be observed engineering; that percentage is the second lowest among performing their tasks in society. developed countries. Engineering students make up about This is not true of most engineers. 12% of undergraduates in most of Europe, 20% in Singapore, and more than 40% in China. Students Engineering is highly competitive throughout much of the world see careers in science and and therefore done behind closed doors. It's not likely that children are engineering as the path to a better future. going to choose a career that they know nothing about. This document introduces a program which is intended to help spark interest in science and engineering in communities where engineering is not common-place. This program will bring science and engineering out to be observed by the public and therefore make it a more obvious career choice for young adults. This program therefore proposes to design and construct a science center unlike any other. This center will be partly an learning institute and partly a working research center. This way the visitors will observe actual engineering and scientific research. The research will also allow the institution to attract and retain talented scientists. While this document proposes to design and build one institute, this document is designed to guide the planning of many of these institutes. This plan is specifically designed for cities under 100,000 in population, will little existing engineering and with no other science centers. This plan may be modified to suit other cities.
1 Broad, W. J. US Losing Its Dominance in Sciences. New York Times. May 3,2004

Research Engineering and Learning Institute Anthony Valenzano

Concept Design Document 2005-1 REV-1

The purpose of this program is to introduce children and young adults to engineering, and develop the local engineering community. This program proposes to do this by developing a science center that is tuned to just this goal. The science institute functions will be threefold. First it will be a learning center for school students. In this role the institute will provide educational displays on specific topics, laboratories for lessons in major fields of engineering, and access to people working in the scientific community. This institution will be more “hands-on” than other comparable science centers. It will consist of more lab experiments than museum-type push button examples. The purpose is to show students their own abilities in engineering and not to intimidate them with complex examples of engineering. The other two functions are derived from this most important function. The second function is as a working research center, as this will give the students the best understanding of engineering. By making the institute a research center it gains actual 'living' science. Visitors can see science developing before there eyes, and just how this is done. The research has two other purposes, to attract bright engineers, and to provide additional income for the institute. The third function of the institute is to spread engineering to the entire community. This center will be a resource for everyone in the community, with everyone welcome to join the institution and utilize the labs under supervision of lab attendants. The salient goal of this institute is to improve the technological state of this country, this goal is not well served by just showing students science and then abandoning them later. This institute will nurture all kinds of science and engineering, for all people. Students will be able to return to the center to try to build things that they have learned. As adults they will be able to turn to the institute as a place to work on a project that they are developing outside or their nine to five jobs. This is an important aspect of the institute, people are most effective when working on projects they are passionate about, but they are rarely able to work on those projects as a living. This institute provides these people with access to the resources they need to complete these goals. The institute will also be an excellent resource for home schooled children and their parents, who often don't have access to science labs. Lastly, the institute will provide a meeting and work place for science-based student projects, such as Junior Achievement.

Research Engineering and Learning Institute Anthony Valenzano

Concept Design Document 2005-1 REV-1

The institute will require a building of at least 15,000 sq ft of floor space. The building should have an industrial look with modern accents. Preferably the building will be two stories with a large open area that can make up the central floor / display area. The first floor should also house the cafeteria. The second floor will consist of four labs and an engineering library. In addition there will be several small offices, and conference rooms. The building would be best if positioned high on a mountain or hill for the use of ham radio as well as telescopes, and radio astronomy equipment. To accommodate telescopes and antennas the building will need roof access. All aspects of the institute will be designed to accommodate 60 children per day. To ensure security for the institute, video cameras, and recorded devices will be utilized in critical locations in the building. Fiber-optic locking systems will be attached to all lab equipment and oscilloscopes probes will be secured to each scope. The doors all labs will have magnetic badge readers to ensure that visitors are not allowed in the labs alone, both for security and safety reasons.

Illustration 2: Sample Floor Plan, 1st Floor

Illustration 1: Sample Floor Plan, 2nd Floor

Research Engineering and Learning Institute Anthony Valenzano

Concept Design Document 2005-1 REV-1

Central Floor / Display Area
The central floor will contain displays much like other science museums. These displays will be interactive and educational. Each display will consist of written explanation that will be narrated by the push of a button. Displays may also include monitors to provide visual understanding of the display. The display should be arranged in a semi-circle around the central floor, with an open area in the center for live demonstrations, speeches, or a focused display. Displays will also show where its particular science shows up in the real world. For example, the Friction Display will tie the display activity to how cars grip the road. The walls of the first floor will contain many educational wall displays which describe events in the history of science and engineering. The wall will start in the center of the north wall and progress clockwise in a chronological order. The purpose of this wall is to tie today's very complex science and engineering to a time when it was much simpler. Possible Displays: Van De Graaff Generator Mechanical Advantage Jacob's Ladder Aerodynamic Lift Friction Magnetic Forces Relativity /Time-space relation Wet-Cell Battery Construction Communications Feedback Systems For more information on display see the Display Requirements Document.

Research Engineering and Learning Institute Anthony Valenzano

Concept Design Document 2005-1 REV-1

Computer Engineering Lab
Personnel: Two computer engineers + Two part-time lab attendants This laboratory will consist of approximately thirty computer systems with a variety of open source operating systems. These operating systems are powerful educational tools as well as powerful research tools. These systems will allow the users to develop programs, interact with robotic systems, and develop web pages, along with numerous other activities. Open software is also free of cost and can be modified to better suit a purpose. The computers will be equipped with large hard drives to accommodate several operating systems. Seeing as computers are used in all forms of engineering, the computer lab will be equipped with all the software to perform these engineering tasks. Possible open operating systems: Mandriva Linux Fedora Core Linux Debian Linux FreeBSD Software Programs: OpenOffice – Word Processor, Spreadsheet, Presentation Software QCAD – Mechanical Drawing Program Dia – Diagram drawing program Oregano – Electrical Simulation Software Gnuplot – Graphing Program Scilab – Matrix Math Program Kde Edutainment – Educational Software The GIMP v2 – Image editing software Mozilla-FireFox – Web browser Workstation Computer Specifications: 17” CRT Display 3-bay mini-tower case w/ power supply AMD-64 mainboard w/ processor – 3.2 GHz 200 Gigabyte hard drive 1 Gigabyte memory DVD/CD-RW Drive Sound card / Speakers Mouse/Keyboard During educational lessons approximately thirty students will each sit at a computer. They will be introduced to the operating system and will be taught to use one particular piece of software, depending on their age. At the end of the lesson the students will be able to print out their work and take it home. Possible projects may include designing a web page, editing a photo, or making a mechanical drawing. In addition, older students may write programs while younger students will utilize the educational software on the computer.

Research Engineering and Learning Institute Anthony Valenzano

Concept Design Document 2005-1 REV-1

Electrical Engineering Lab
Personnel: Two electrical engineers and two part-time lab attendants This lab will have all the equipment required to create ten lab stations. Each of these stations will have one two-channel 300MHz digital oscilloscopes, one dual variable power supply, a soldering station, and a signal generator. The lab may also have ham radio equipment, weather measurement equipment, and electrical instrumentation. Various other equipment maybe acquired and kept in a supply area to be signed out when needed. Hand tools and electronic parts will also be kept in the supply area. Equipment at each station will be carefully controlled. Future expansions to this lab will include a network analyzer, spectrum analyzer, Anechoic chamber, and optics equipment. During educational lessons approximately sixteen students will sit two per lab station so that they may work together for these experiments. Students will utilized some or all of the lab equipment for preform and experiment. One possible such experiment might be a microphone and speaker communication system. Here each set of students would be given a microphone and a ear piece. First the students would be instructed to attach the microphone to the oscilloscope to view their voices as they speak. Next they would attach the signal generator to the ear piece and listen to the sounds it is outputting. Lastly they would connect the microphone with the ear piece and one student will speak and the other will listen at some distance away.

Mechanical Engineering Lab
Personnel: Two mechanical engineers and two part-time lab attendants The mechanical engineering lab will have several work tables and machining area. The machining area will be carefully segregated from the rest of the lab for safety reasons. This area will require safety glasses and clothing before working in the area. There will also be safety training before visitors are permitted to operate the machines. This lab will have supply room that will contain all other power tools and hand tools as well as any materials. Only engineers and lab attendants will have access to the supply room. Future expansions to this lab will include a color plotter, plasma cutter, and rapid prototype machine. Several other smaller tools will also be added.

Aerospace Engineering Lab
Personnel: Two aerospace engineers and two part-time lab attendant Aerospace engineering has an advantage over other forms of engineering when is comes to educating children, and that is because model airplanes and rockets follow the same laws of science as their larger brethren. This fact can be used to give a very good understanding of aerospace, at a fraction of the cost. In this lab students can construct a wing, and test it in a miniature wind tunnel. Students can measure the thrust of small model rocket engines, exactly in the same way engineers would test much larger rockets. Along with observing the work of real aerospace engineers, the students will have a great understanding of this field of engineering.

Research Engineering and Learning Institute Anthony Valenzano

Concept Design Document 2005-1 REV-1

Engineering Library
Personnel: One librarian and one part-time attendant The most important part of successful engineering is access to information. For this reason the institute will have an engineering library on the premises. This will allow researches and visitors to have access to all of the information they need to complete their tasks. The librarian will be responsible for signing out and returning all books as well as organizing and maintaining the information resources. This lab will have five computers available for Internet searches.

To accommodate a full day of activities for school students the institute will require a cafeteria. The cafeteria will be operated by a food services contractor. The cafeteria will not be completed until later in the project, until that time lunches will have to be 'brown bag'. The cafeteria will accommodate 75 people for lunch. This will be 10 tables with 8 people per table. The cafeteria will also double as a gathering area for groups.

Research Engineering and Learning Institute Anthony Valenzano

Concept Design Document 2005-1 REV-1

Education Methods
Children should be brought to the institute several times during their schooling careers, and each time they should walk away with a better understanding of science and engineering. For younger students, a wonder of science should be introduced, but this should not be left at that. If left at the the wonder stage, science can seem too unattainable and mystifying. Therefore children should be taught that they too can control and manipulate materials. This can only happen if students are shown that they can work with the laws of science. This can start with the simplest of gears and levelers and end in an understanding of complex electronics.

Research Plan
Research is a very important part of the institute. This is the key to showing the children how engineering works. The research is also vital to employ engineers, as engineers want to do engineering, and if they are not doing engineering, they are not engineers. The research also has another positive aspect, it can help supplement the engineer's salary, even the institute itself. The research can be SBIR from the national agencies. Phase I SBIRs are $75,000 for initial research, lasting just a couple months. Phase II SBIRs often follow phase I SBIRs which are worth $750,000 and usually have a duration of two or three years. Another source of research engineering is from private industry. Many companies do not have the resources or personnel to develop some product that they wish to market. These companies can contract with the institute to help develop their product. Engineers working at the institute will also have the opportunity develop their own research projects. They will present the concept to their peers and, if approved, will be able to work on these projects as budget allows.

Research Engineering and Learning Institute Anthony Valenzano

Concept Design Document 2005-1 REV-1

Funding and Resources
The National Science Foundation offers grants for programs that bring science to students. The institute will search out and apply for these type of grants. The institute will look to local and state government for additional funding, including the possibility of suppling the building.

Private Industry
Private high-tech companies will be a great resource for the institute. Companies such as Lockheed Martin routinely encourage employees to help out with communities programs, and will often donate money to these causes. The institute will look to these companies for donations of equipment, time, and money. High-tech companies will also be encouraged to develop displays to be added to the main floor display. These displays will follow the same guidelines as all of the institutes's displays, in that they are educational and interactive.

Research Gains
Money acquired from research gains will be folded back into the institute to help supplement the other sources of income. This will in turn provide money to improve all aspects of the institute and reduce the costs of attending and joining the institute. The goal is that eventually the doors of the institute may be opened, free of cost to the public.

Donations will be particularly important to startup the institute. The largest costs will be to acquire the equipment needed before the doors are ever opened. Donations will also help to reduce the cost for students to attend the institute.

The institute will have close relationship with local universities. Universities will find the institute a resource for locating possible engineering students. They will also be able to utilize the labs where their labs fall insufficient. Engineers working at the institute may have the opportunity to teach engineering classes at the university.

Research Engineering and Learning Institute Anthony Valenzano

Concept Design Document 2005-1 REV-1

Implementation Plan
Phase I – Planning, 1-3 months
Gather funding. Refine concept. Draw up plans and documents.

Phase II – Forward Motion, 2-3 months
Some funding acquired. Search out more funding. Acquire location. Select first employees. Develop first lesson plans. Find research opportunities. Develop initial web site.

Phase III – Construction, 3-5 months
Construct facility. Acquire tools and materials. Develop displays. Continue to develop lesson plans. Select remaining startup employees. Begin research.

Phase IV – Initial Operations, 6-12 months
Open doors with minimal staff. Evaluate operation and adjust as needed. Grow staffing and capabilities at a reasonable rate. Finalize web site. Notify schools.

Phase V – Full Operations
Normal operations. Add cafeteria. Hire any remaining staff. Stabilize costs vs earnings. Make any final adjustments. Open doors to public.

Research Engineering and Learning Institute Anthony Valenzano

Concept Design Document 2005-1 REV-1

Position General Manager / EE Technical Leader / EE Business Leader / HR Mechanical Engineer Computer Engineer Librarian Aerospace Engineer Mechanical Engineer Computer Engineer Electrical Engineer Business Staff Aerospace Engineer Beginning Phase I II II III III III IV V V V V V Description Oversee all operations, begin funding, EE/AE Labs Oversee all technical aspects, Run EE lab Oversee all business aspects, HR, Safety, Funding Run ME lab, develop displays, develop lesson plans Setup CE lab, develop lesson plans Setup Library, Community Outreach Run AE Lab, develop lesson plans Run ME lab, Research, Present Run CE lab, Research, Present Run EE lab, Research, Present Accounting, Acquire Funding Run AE Lab, Research, Present Salary

$65,000.00 $65,000.00 $60,000.00

$50,000.00 $45,000.00 $35,000.00 $50,000.00 $50,000.00 $45,000.00 $55,000.00 $35,000.00 $50,000.00

Monthly salary expenses according to Phase: Phase I – $5,400/month Phase II – $15,800/month Phase III – $26,600/month Phase IV – $30,800/month Phase V – $50,400/month

Research Engineering and Learning Institute Anthony Valenzano

Concept Design Document 2005-1 REV-1

Materials Acquisition
Table 1: Computer Engineering Lab, Material Costs

Item Computer Workstation Computer Servers Projector Ethernet Equipment Various Software Interactive Hardware Electrical Materials Desks Chairs Computer Accessories

Quantity 30 2 1 1 1 1 1 15 30 1

Cost $1,550.00 $1,750.00 $1,700.00 $5,500.00 $8,000.00 $4,500.00 $5,000.00 $250.00 $55.00 $1,000.00 TOTAL

Total $46,500.00 $3,500.00 $1,700.00 $5,500.00 $8,000.00 $4,500.00 $5,000.00 $3,750.00 $1,650.00 $1,000.00 $81,100.00

Table 2: Electrical Engineering Lab, Material Costs

Item Oscilloscopes Power Supply Signal Generators Soldering Stations Digital Multimeter Hand Tools Electrical Materials Desks Stools Microscope

Quantity 12 12 12 12 12 1 1 5 15 3

Cost $3,500.00 $1,000.00 $700.00 $250.00 $200.00 $2,000.00 $5,000.00 $1000.00 $30.00 $400.00 TOTAL

Total $42,000.00 $12,000.00 $8,400.00 $3,000.00 $2,400.00 $2,000.00 $5,000.00 $5,000.00 $450.00 $1,200.00 $81,450.00

Research Engineering and Learning Institute Anthony Valenzano
Table 3: Mechanical Engineering Lab, Material Costs

Concept Design Document 2005-1 REV-1

Item Drill Press CNC Band saw Lathe Grinder Three-axis Mill Hand Tools Desks Stools Tool Cabinet

Quantity 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 12 25 4

Cost $800.00 $18,000.00 $2,500.00 $2,500.00 $350.00 $3,500.00 $10,500.00 $350.00 $30.00 $400.00 TOTAL

Total $800.00 $18,000.00 $2,500.00 $2,500.00 $350.00 $3,500.00 $10,500.00 $4,200.00 $750.00 $1,600.00 $44,700.00

Table 4: Aerospace Engineering Lab, Material Costs

Item Computer Workstation Materials Equipment Desks Chairs Projector

Quantity 2 1 1 12 25 1

Cost $1,550.00 $13,000.00 $24,000.00 $300.00 $55.00 $1,700.00 TOTAL

Total $3,100.00 $13,000.00 $24,000.00 $3,600.00 $1,375.00 $1,700.00 $46,775.00

Research Engineering and Learning Institute Anthony Valenzano
Table 5: Engineering Library, Material Costs

Concept Design Document 2005-1 REV-1

Item Computer Workstation Engineering Books Bookshelves Desks Chairs Projector

Quantity 5 1 10 10 25 1

Cost $1,550.00 $25,000.00 $300.00 $300.00 $55.00 $1,700.00 TOTAL

Total $7,750.00 $25,000.00 $3,000.00 $3,000.00 $1,375.00 $1,700.00 $41,825.00

Table 6: Central Floor, Material Costs

Item Computer Stations Education Displays Accessories LCD Monitors Chairs Information Desk

Quantity 6 10 1 4 40 1

Cost $1,550.00 $3,000.00 $7500.00 $2200.00 $35.00 $1,500.00 TOTAL

Total $9,300.00 $30,000.00 $7,500.00 $8,800.00 $1,400.00 $1,500.00 $58,500.00

Table 7: Facility Materials

Item Video Displays Cafeteria Chairs Cafeteria Tables Decorations / Accessories Security Equipment Basic Supplies

Quantity 1 90 10 1 1 1

Cost $11000.00 $35.00 $250.00 $3000.00 $10000.00 $1,500.00 TOTAL

Total $11,000.00 $3,150.00 $2,500.00 $3,000.00 $10,000.00 $1,500.00 $31,150.00

Research Engineering and Learning Institute Anthony Valenzano
Table 8: Office Supplies

Concept Design Document 2005-1 REV-1

Item Employee Computers Employee Desks Employee Chairs Various Office Supplies Copier / Fax / Printer Ink jet Printers

Quantity 12 12 12 1 1 8

Cost $1600.00 $350.00 $150.00 $5500.00 $2500.00 $400.00 TOTAL

Total $19,200.00 $4,200.00 $1,800.00 $5,500.00 $2,500.00 $3,200.00 $36,400.00

Table 9: Total Material Costs

Area Computer Engineering Lab Electrical Engineering Lab Mechanical Engineering Lab Aerospace Engineering Lab Engineering Library Central Floor Facility Supplies Office Supplies TOTAL MATERIAL COSTS

Cost $81,100.00 $81,450.00 $44,700.00 $46,775.00 $41,825.00 $58,500.00 $31,150.00 $36,400.00 $421,900.00

Research Engineering and Learning Institute Anthony Valenzano

Concept Design Document 2005-1 REV-1

Operating Costs
Table 10: Expenses Per Month For Each Phase

Expense Salaries Facility Lease / Payment Lab Materials Office Materials Employee Benefits

Phase I $5,400.00 $30,000.00 $0.00 $500.00 $500.00

Phase II

Phase III

Phase IV

Phase V

$15,800.00 $26,600.00 $30,800.00 $50,400.00 $30,000.00 $30,000.00 $30,000.00 $30,000.00 $0.00 $1,000.00 $1,000.00 $0.00 $1,000.00 $1,500.00 $2,500.00 $1,500.00 $2,000.00 $5,000.00 $1,500.00 $3,500.00



$47,800.00 $59,100.00 $66,800.00 $90,400.00

Research Engineering and Learning Institute Anthony Valenzano

Concept Design Document 2005-1 REV-1

About the Author
Mr. Anthony Valenzano is an electrical engineering consultant with five years experience. Most recently at AeroAstro (Ashburn VA), he was the principal electrical engineer for the design of a modular flight computer for a satellite. He has also designed analog power control systems as well as S-Band RF circuitry. Prior to his employment at AeroAstro, Mr. Valenzano was an Electrical Design Engineer at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control (Archbald PA), where he designed flight control systems for laser-guided and GPS-guided munitions. He was lead engineer for their Laser-Guided Train Round and Mission-Readiness Test Set programs. Before Lockheed, Mr. Valenzano obtained his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Penn State University where he focused on analog circuit design, high-speed power circuity, and microwave design. At Penn State, he was also a lead member of a team that successfully designed and launched a sounding rocket from NASA Wallops Flight Facility. During this program he developed an interest in bringing engineering to children when he became involved in the SPIRIT Outreach Program. This was a program that introduced K-12 students to aerospace engineering. Since then Mr. Valenzano has mentored freshman college students through their college careers and also introduced other students to engineering. Lastly he taught science to 3rd and 4th graders at Abington Elementary School as part of an after school program designed to introduce students to different careers.

For more information contact: Anthony Valenzano RELI 570-498-7223 1305 Pittston Ave 2S Scranton PA, 18505