SUSTech learns from MIT toy product design course
Chris Edwards | 05/30/2020

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is famed for its 2.00b Toy Product Design course as part of its freshman year for its mechanical engineering students. The Department of Mechanical and Energy Engineering (MEE) at Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech) received an invitation from MIT expert and professor David Wallace to take part in the teaching of this course.

Assistant Professor Chaoyang SONG, Associate Professor Dong LU, and Assistant Professor Yan WEI represented SUSTech, conducting in-depth exchanges with their colleagues in Boston about course design, teaching philosophy, and educational methodologies. MEE is planning on introducing a similar course to first-year students in the spring semester of 2021, so these communications are vital for garnering crucial information.

MIT Professor David Wallace is brilliantly placed to assist MEE in the development of their design course, given his thirty years of experience in the field. He is exceptionally passionate about research and teaching industrial design and engineering. Approximately 10% of all MIT students take his toy product design each year due to its holistic educational approach. It is regarded by many within MIT and the wider academic community as the “star course” at MIT.

While “Toy Product Design” appears to be quite simple in its name, it is a cutting-edge demonstration for emerging engineering education. First-year mechanical engineering students must not only learn to design and make toys but must carry out systematic learning and project practice. They must design their toys through the whole process of product development, including identifying customer needs, brainstorming, sketching and modeling, aesthetic design, and model making. While they are completing the engineering and design aspects, they also need to collaborate with primary school teachers, their mentors, and local sponsors to ensure that they can produce their toys in an environment to be tested.

Mingdong CHEN (’21, MEE) led a team online to take the class. Together with Research Assistant Dan ZHAO from the Bionic Design and Learning Team and Dr. Fang WAN from the SUSTech Institute of Intelligent Manufacturing, “Team Shark” represented SUSTech and sought to create their “Fighting Pandemic,” in competition against students from MIT.

The SUSTech-MIT Centers for Mechanical Engineering Research and Education have been enormous supporters of the collaboration between SUSTech and MIT. Since its establishment in 2018, both universities have cooperated on cutting-edge technology and engineering education.

2020, 05-30
By Chris Edwards

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Translated and Adapted By SUSTech Newshub

Proofread ByXia Yingying

Photo ByDepartment of Mechanical and Energy Engineering

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