“B” Engineered at BHS

Last school year we kicked off our Pre-Engineering program for all interested students. “B” Engineered as you read about our recent events, updates and opportunities available through this engineering program, highlighted by speakers from local Engineering firms, monthly hands-on engineering labs and our Robotics I & II course, which is offered in conjuction with Cuyahoga Community College!

See a brief bio of speakers who have been a guest to Benedictine during our Engineering Seminars!

Find information on the hands-on activities students are participating in during the program.


Movers Challenge – Civil Engineering, Force, Structure 

Benedictine Engineering students were given 1 marble, 1 balloon,3 straws,tape,30 feet of string,  a large rubber band, 2 paper clips, a square of cardboard, a pair of scissors and a piece of cloth.  There was a focused effort by all to design and build a device that would move a marble across the room at least 12 feet with the following rules:

  • The object cannot touch the ground;
  • The object cannot be moved across the room by a person (no throwing);
  • Only use the materials given could be used as part of the solution;
  • No design solution can be copied.

Prizes were awarded to the students on five teams whose designs met the criteria.

 (update on 11/9/16)


Leo Adams

The Engineering club was fortunate to have Leonard J. Adams, (Leo) from Swagelok speak to our group.  Leo shared his path and experience as a Mechanical Engineer, (ME), Technical Manager, and Business Leader with the group.

Mr. Adams earned his ME degree from Cleveland State University and his Masters of Business Administration from Indiana Wesleyan University.  He is currently a Human Resource Manager at Swagelok and is transitioning to a Plant Manager position, here in Solon next month.

Mr. Adams shared his love for Cleveland, Engineering and hard work; giving 100% and beyond.

His path to an Engineering Career started after he earned life experience and money for college in the Air Force.   As a young man growing up in a large family he knew he liked to tear things apart , put things together, work with his hands and solve problems with limited resources.   He also shared that he liked math and science.

He shared Swagelok Industry examples of:

  • Service to our Country/Heritage with the design of the encasement that houses our national documents. (Constitution, Bill of Rights, Amendments)
  • An oil rig 1.5 miles out to sea off of New Orleans
  • Natural Gas Vehicles
  • Hydrogen House and Alternate Fuel Applications
  • Space Shuttle – Breathing Pack
  • Bio Pharm
  • Bellagio’s Water Show

He urged our students to:

  • Discover their passion
  • Evaluate their skills
  • Reach out and talk to people
  • Evaluate their career options within their potential major
  • Seek a Mentor
  • Communicate Effectively
  • Be agile
    • Go above and beyond every time
    • Collaborate
    • Be flexible

(update on 10/26/16)


Dr. Majid Rashidi, P.E.

The Engineering club was fortunate to have Dr. Majid Rashidi, P.E., the Betty L. Gordon Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Cleveland State University, (CSU) speak to the club. Dr. Rashidi shared his path and experience as a Mechanical Engineer, (ME), Technical Manager, Educator and Business Leader with the group.

Dr. Rashidi earned his ME degree, Masters in Mechanical Engineering and Ph. D in ME from Case Western Reserve University.

Dr. Rashidi shared his love for Engineering and design as a FUN discipline. He shared examples of:

  • Innovation
  • Invention
  • Biologically Inspired Design – Nature is an amazing designer
  • Wind Industry and Sustainability
  • His design of a Giant roller Bearing that sustains a one million pound load
  • His design of a Wear Tester for an Artificial Human Spine Disc He encouraged questions and discussion. Gregg G. Schoof, MSSA, Manager of Engineering Student Programs from CSU Washkewicz College of Engineering also extended an open invitation for our students to tour CSU. He also encouraged all to sign up for a shadow day. His contact information is:
  • Office Telephone: (216) 687-5272 Email: g.schoof@csuohio.edu

(update on 4/29/16)


Brian Schoeffler, Kyle Jordan, Thomas Tube, Zavier Roberts, Andrew Schiffer accompanied by Mr. Robert Ryan and Mrs. Charlene Zulandt, and had the opportunity to showcase our Benedictine STEM activities at the Great Lakes Science Center as part of the White House Office of Science Technology Policy “Making” event. The students presented to Adam Savage, TV Host/Inventor, formerly of MythBusters and Andrew Coy, a senior advisor in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

They each had the opportunity to tell our story which includes our partnership with MAGNET, the Youth Technical Academy, Monks Corner, and our Engineering Club build events.

Senior, Thomas Tube discussed our Engineering and Robotics programs with Therese Griebel, Director, Aeronautics Directorate at the NASA Glenn Research Center. Thomas also graciously thanked the director for the opportunity and shared his excitement about his upcoming Project Real at NASA. Senior, Kyle Jordan shared his programming experiences and CAD. They were both encouraged by the Director to continue their experiences and investigate continued opportunities with NASA.

The students also took part in an engineering build event for a future city. Our students built a church adorned with a cross, seating, stained glass windows, an altar and St. Benedict.
The students visited the MC2STEM mobile fab lab and interacted with other local students and members of the community.

Read the story fromCleveland.com and News Herald, and scroll through the photos to find our “Champion” Engineers collaborating with high school students from around Northeast Ohio.

Our IT Director, Mr. Salem ’90 has ordered 16 top notch workstations capable of CAD and a list of proposed software for our FabLab, along with a separate server.

We are working with Father Timothy ’60 to redesign our library and our CAD class is working on the project, designing alternatives for the library portion~having lists of open ideas for the “fablab” side.

Additionally, our Robotics instructor, Mr. Rob Ryan has graciously agreed to be the advisor for our Combat Robotics team next year! Roger Sustar, from the Alliance for Working Together (AWT) and Fredon, is assisting us in securing a sponsor for this robotics team, that will compete in the AWT event and the National Robotics League event.

(update by Mr. Robert Ryan on 3/10/16)

Robotics class has been going great! Students may be frustrated on a daily basis in class with their robots not functioning perfectly, but that’s all part of engineering and programming! Troubleshooting and problem solving are such an integral part of robotics (and programming of all types) and our students really are learning that first hand. One student, Markee Zrnich ’16, even said just yesterday, “I was really frustrated because it wasn’t working, but I fixed the problem… it was a small, stupid issue with the code. Now it is working perfectly.” Those situations and the resulting persistence are what is making these students so much more resilient in their work. Our program was even mentioned in Cleveland Magazine in the March 2016 issue (pg. 142) where I was interviewed about how robotics is helping the students in the real world. It has certainly been fun so far. Applying for a STEM grant, Mrs. Sue Zulandt asked us to make a short video of what we had been working on. Here’s a short one about a programming lab we completed with LEDs.

( update on 2/18/16)

Twenty five students from the EDSS club and YTA course toured the Washkewicz College of Engineering at Cleveland State University.

Current CSU Engineering students presented “What an Engineer Does?” to our students.  They explained that Engineering is fundamental and essential for solving the challenges facing humanity, including securing clean and sustainable energy, assuring economic growth, as well as developing affordable and high quality health care.

Our Engineering hosts explained that the Washkewicz College of Engineering offers engineering degrees in the following engineering disciplines: Chemical and Biomedical, Civil and Environmental, Electrical and Computer, and Mechanical Engineering, as well as contemporary degrees in Electronic Engineering Technology and Mechanical Engineering Technology and provided multiple of examples of each.

We learned about the Cooperative Education Program and Scholarships available to Engineering Students.  Our students had interactive tours in the Simulator Lab, Prosthetic Lab, lecture hall and a tour of the student commons.

They had the opportunity to drive a SEGWAY and watched a presentation about the Dean Kaman and his passion to provide opportunities to students to pursue STEM careers address global medical issues and make the world a better place.

There was also an Engineering challenge where the students designed a structure to support a small ball.  The students had multiple constraints and limited materials.  They worked together to create varied solutions.

(update on 12/11/15)

After our Benedictine registration ended with 17 students, we are trying to partner with Beaumont School to allow 3 of their young ladies to join our Bengals for the course. Hopefully we can fill the 20 student seats and get as many students involved as possible! In addition, Mr. Ryan attended a session with CCC last weekend and was able to come back with these photos of the robots that our students will be building in the class!












We have some very exciting news – Benedictine is teaming up with Cuyahoga Community College to participate in their Youth Technology Academy. Students at Benedictine will be dual-enrolling for the Spring semester and will be receiving both high school and college credits through the CCP program for a Robotics course. Distance learning with CCC through an interactive seminar with the other schools participating, and then a lab day at Benedictine with teacher, Mr. Robert Ryan, will allow the students the opportunity to learn more about robotics, learn to program with Arduino, and then to actually construct their own small robots which they will program to do certain tasks. A first step toward a hopefully larger goal such as participation in the yearly FIRST Robotics Competition, currently 16 students are registering to participate in this course. Spots remain in the class until we reach 20 students. There is a $200 fee, or unused CCP credits may be applied. Please contact Mr. Robert Ryan, or Mrs. Sue Zulandt for more information.