School News

Model of the Pterodactyl
Eagle Hill School

20-Foot Pterodactyl Comes to Life

An oversized model of an ancient reptile is now hanging in the WHIKS.

While creating small trinkets and figurines is nice when learning how to create in a makerspace environment, Mr. Jim Haupt’s Making Oversized Models is all about going big.

Making Oversized Models is a three-term course offered to Eagle Hill students where students find small models, build them, then use software to scale up the designs. For example, when exploring different ideas, students found and chose a model of the pterodactyl that had a wingspan of about 18 inches. Taking this small model, students scaled it up about twenty times the original size, resulting in a model that has a wingspan that exceeds 20 feet!

Taking the entire three-terms to model, construct, and assemble the pterodactyl, Haupt and his students put together about 30 separate pieces, consisting of 3/4-inch maple boards that have been laminated together into sheets and cut out on a 3-axis CNC (Computer Numerical Control) router. Students concluded by making support brackets out of aluminum angle sections and secured them together with dozens of nuts and bolts.

Consisting of six passionate students, they knew the end goal was to hang their creation from the rafters of the WHIKS Student Union—a goal they were able to achieve on December 2nd.

Combining efforts with additional students and faculty members, the class was able to strategically hang their massive creation over the spiral stairwell inside of the WHIKS, a process that took several hours. The structure provides a special surprise to anyone walking up to the second floor.

For students Charlie L. ‘22 and Otto M. ’24, this project represented one of their favorite endeavors at EHS thus far, a project that was a culmination of hard work and attention to detail.

“As a whole, this was a great opportunity to put everyone's skills to the test. We covered many different types of construction, and everyone had a great chance to learn. We used such a wide variety of tools and methods, we all had to teach each other different things, so putting all of our strengths forward was awesome to create such a great product,” said Charlie ’22.

“It’s really cool knowing that we all had a hand in creating something that is going to hang in a part of campus for everyone to see. Everyone on the team worked really hard and had to be on a tight deadline to get this completed in time. I’m really happy with how it turned out,” said Otto ’24.

Check out the tremendous progress this project made over the last several months, concluding with pictures and videos from the impressive unveiling in the WHIKS!



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