When workers at Chicago's famous Shedd Aquarium realized that their penguins were getting sore feet from the rocks around the pool, they decided to turn to engineers for help. A partnership between the aquarium and the engineering department at Northwestern University gave first-year engineering students a chance to test their design skills and gave the penguins a little much-needed relief. While students initially felt the project had little to do with engineering, they soon learned that this type of analysis and problem-solving is exactly what engineering is about.
The students considered multiple constraints in designing the perfect penguin shoe. It needed to be water-proof, inexpensive, easy to use, and comfortable without impeding the birds' swimming ability. See the video from NBC Nightly News to see how the penguin boots turned out.
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