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Mechanical engineering seniors design musical climbing wall

A team of mechanical engineering seniors are putting in some long hours during the next couple of weeks to finish their capstone project intended for installation at the Tulsa Children’s Museum. The group is building a musical climbing wall by transforming a tread wall into a musical instrument. Children will use tracks as they climb the wall to fire off sound from the instrument positioned at the top of the wall.

Learn more about the TU Department of Mechanical Engineering.

“The Children’s Museum is all about hands-on experiences and their new exhibit is music and math,” said team leader Paige Hibbard. “We’re hoping our giant instrument will be a part of that and help kids learn music through the vehicle of physical activity.”

The students meet three to four days a week to work on the project in the museum’s warehouse. In addition to the benefits children will experience at the museum, Hibbard said the project provides her and the team with true engineering experience. The climbing wall has been a semester-long lesson in working with other people, consulting with vendors and finalizing a budget — all skills that will be required in the real world.

“The Children’s Museum has been awesome in helping us out, and we’ve learned a lot,” Hibbard said. “Getting to build something and seeing it come to life has been our favorite part.”

This is the second year for a mechanical engineering senior design team to partner with the Tulsa Children’s Museum.