Symposium Stories:ESU Alumni Paul Burke Shares His Take on a Toy That Fuses Form with Function

Melissa Valentovic
Staff Writer

The annual East Stroudsburg University Student Research and Creative Activity Symposium will be held on April 21, 2016 beginning at 9 a.m. with poster sessions at the Hoeffner Science and Technology Center.

According to ESU’s website, the first symposium was held as a part of the inauguration events of ESU’s thirteenth president, Dr. Marcia G. Welsh in 2012.

Since then, the event has evolved in the number of participants and academic colleges majors represented through their research.

One participant from last year’s symposium was recent ESU graduate Paul Burke.

Burke graduated from ESU in December 2015 with a degree in art and design with a concentration in graphic design.

Burke, who participated in the symposium’s poster session, based his presentation off of a project he made for his object design class.

The assignment, Burke says, was to make a toy. However, he said he wanted to make something that was also functional in addition to fun.

After brainstorming he came up with the idea of a adding an entertaining twist to food containers.

Although Burke made the model on a 3D design program called Rhino, he does not recall ever having the product actually 3D printed.

While he explained that the container did not do anything to the food inside of it, the sleek looking snack or sandwich box could be tilted any way and the marble that was inside of the lid would roll around in different direction, putting a toy-like spin on a food container.

At the symposium, Burke stood in front of his six-foottall poster explaining to people walking by about his container design and concept.

Art and design is just one academic major represented at the symposium.

Participants come from every academic college and has grown from the first year with just 52 students to 114 submissions in the spring of 2015.

This year’s guest speaker is NYU psychology professor Dr. Josh Aronson, who will a lecture entitled, “A More Elevating Approach to Education.”

In this lecture he asks the question, “How can we address achievement gaps in American schools?”

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