Saturday, October 26, 2019

NY Times Obituary for Woodie Flowers, a Student Robotics Hero...

... and general STEM Education Giant... RIP, Woodie! And Thanks!

"Woodie Flowers, Who Made Science a Competitive Sport, Dies at 75

His hands-on methods of teaching mechanical engineering at M.I.T. made him a star on campus (and on PBS) and led to student contests on a global scale.Woodie Flowers, an innovative and flamboyant mechanical engineering professor at M.I.T. (he liked to roller-blade and ride unicycles through its august halls) who championed a hands-on learning philosophy that reshaped engineering and design education and turned him into something of a celebrity, died on Oct. 11 in Boston. He was 75.

His death, at Massachusetts General Hospital, was caused by a sudden acute illness following aorta surgery, his wife, Margaret Flowers, said.

The original source of Professor Flowers’s renown was an undergraduate course at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with the unprepossessing name 2.70 Introduction to Design, which he started teaching in the 1970s.

He would begin the course by handing students what he called “creativity kits” — a grab bag of random parts like paper clips, screws, bolts and wire. He would then have them form teams and instruct them to spend the semester, with him as their guide, designing robotic devices that, if successful, would be able to complete a specific task of Professor Flowers’s choosing, like placing square pegs in a round hole.."

Read the full article at its source: 

SEE previous post on the passing of Dr. Flowers:

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