News stories

Academy Session: Freefall Design Challenge

December 05, 2022

In our latest session, our Next Engineers: Greenville Engineering Academy had a packed schedule with a design challenge, a motivational presentation, video game demo from Skillsgapp Skillionaire Games, and the first annual Greenville Academy Fall Festival. And with this session marking the first anniversary since the program’s inception, we all welcomed our second cohort of students, bringing our total up to over 90 students!

Our scholars started the day with a presentation and demo from Skillsgapp Skillionaire Games, an innovative company that gamifies career development and academic education. Through mobile games — dubbed as Skillsgapp Skillionaire Games — young people can gain valuable soft and middle skills that can help them connect to future job opportunities. Our scholars got a demo of their newly developed Rad Lab mobile app that gamifies the research and development process, giving students helpful tips and fun facts about what a career in the sciences can be.


Next, Nora Mortali, a graduate student in Clemson’s Bioengineering major, introduced the students to their design challenge in Free Fall Physics. For this challenge, students had to use a limited number of materials to construct a device that would stay in the air for 10 seconds or longer. Students came up with a diverse variety of designs using online resources as well as teams to generate ideas. Cohort 2 students learned a lot about the design process from cohort 1, who passed down their lessons learned from previous challenges.



After testing, students relaxed in the first annual Greenville Academy Fall Festival with plenty of food and fun. Thank you to all students, staff, and volunteers for contributing to a successful first year of Next Engineers!