Make Good: Fall 2023 Student Showcase

November 15, 2023 | Waterloo School


We make a lot of things—but are they good? Are they high quality? Are they good for people?

Whether it is… buildings or towns, laws or policies, art or poetry, tools or machines, computer code or AI, what we make—what we might make—should it be good?

But what makes something good?

This fall’s showcase explores what we make, how we make it, and what it means to make good.

The Good Life

“The Good Life” is Waterloo’s Western Civilization course, surveying the past from pre-history to roughly the end of the medieval period. As they study each time period and people group, students wrestle with how these people defined “a good life”, how they strove to create one, and (morally and philosophically) whether or not they were successful. The end goal is for students to begin to understand how civilization developed into what it is today, from the earliest monuments of Gobekli Tepe to the rise of the Classical and Judeo-Christian traditions that have shaped so much of the world as we know it. The final project for this course is a “model village” that represents the most ideal village possible based on the history of Western Civilization.

Presenters: Natalie C., Davis M., and Emma E.

Engineering Design and Analysis

Our UT dual-enrollment Engineering course emphasizes the historic achievements and contemporary challenges of engineers, the engineering design process, and the skills and habits of mind that engineers find most essential in their work. Design challenges developed by the Cockrell School of Engineering at UT range from designing a pinhole camera to meet the needs of art students with limited dexterity to redesigning a 12-story apartment building in India to withstand earthquakes and extreme snowfall. Our displays tonight will give you a hands-on experience with our products and the research it took to get there.

Presenters: Elizabeth E., Lia S., Gabrian W., and Evelyn C.

Computer Science Engineering

How do you translate the digital language of 0s and 1s to physical objects that help people in life? Students spent this term working on projects in Python that culminated in a final wheelchair prototype project. Our Computer Science Engineering course, designed by the UT Computer Engineering program, is a series of deign challenges that leads students through the design process to accomplish a specific task and serve a specific customer base. It all began with students first introduction to coding by learning the Python language to create a simple meme program. This understanding eventually provided the foundation for students to incorporating Raspberry Pi’s to operate machines. Our computer science students are ready for you to interact with these projects and walk you through the process of what it takes to create a functional prototype.

Presenters: Trevor H., Eleanor T., Justice P., and Felipe R.

Wisdom and Folly

Is there a better time to explore questions of wisdom and folly than your sophomore (wise-fool) year? After exploring the themes in literature, students dove into the ‘British Parliamentary Debate’ format and practiced it together. By researching and thinking through different socio-political issues, exchanging ideas, and listening to the other side’s counterarguments, students reflected in a practical and dynamic way on how wisdom (or folly) is also experienced at the collective level.

Presenters: Noah P., Taylor C., and Taylor F.

Rhetoric 306

In our UT dual-enrollment RHE 306 (Introduction to Rhetoric), juniors and seniors learned ancient rhetorical forms and practices in order to understand and address modern day controversies connected to the use of AI. They honed their research skills in the University of Texas libraries and their rhetorical skills in the classroom (and on each other). The course culminated in individual persuasive essays, taking a position on the controversy they had mapped and studied. What is the future of AI in our society? Ask our budding rhetoricians!

Presenters: Sahani P., Sawyer V.

Waterloo School

Waterloo School