Making of the Purdue 150th Anniversary Penny Press

Making of the Purdue 150th Anniversary Penny Press

September 8, 2019 2 By Stanley Isaacs


(bells ringing) – A little over a year ago a thought came to people that the sesquicentennials coming up, it would be nice to have a student-lead project to commemorate the 150th-anniversary of Purdue. Primarily, what we do in EPICS is talk about engineering design process and so they had to start with what should this even look like? They finally decided that the Bell Tower would be a good landmark. – Basically, when I came
on as a Design Lead, my first semester, I took the project and took it from just an idea to actually figuring out dimensions and measurements and started to take that idea and make it a reality because that’s to me what engineering is all about is taking ideas and actually making them realistic and practical. – So they went from originally deciding what it should look
like to okay what scale can it be. – We kinda joke, “We want it to be taller than the tallest basketball
player at Purdue.” So we assured that it’s
definitely taller than Matt Harms. – More recently, what’s the details? How do we get the coins
to go into the right spot? The students, theirselves,
came up with the ideas of we could add to it, actually add sound. (instrumental music) – ‘Cause we really
wanted to make something super different and an
experience that somebody wouldn’t normally have
when their just going up to a normal penny
press in any other place. And since we’re Purdue, we
want to put in a engineering spin on it and we want
to involve electronics and we want to make it look as cool as we possibly can. So we have an entire circuit board that we custom-designed to fit everything that we’re doing. The way it works,
basically, we have a penny and it breaks this IR Beam, here, and this controller triggers both lights and sound. So if you take your penny and go, it’s rolling down a
chute, past the sensor, it’ll just go straight through there, and you here the fight song! (“Hail Purdue!”) – EPICS originally stood for Engineering Projects In Community Service, so we’re working with predominately
non-profit agencies in the Lafayette area,
but around the world also. Designing and building projects that help with those organization’s mission. In this case, it’s a little different. We added this to an existing team that had some experience in building and electronics and just said, “Lets build something for Purdue that will help with the Sesquicentennial.” – They were forming images that we decided to select. One was 150th, this being very special year for Purdue, we had
to do something with that. The rest of these three images, we actually decided based off a couple student polls that we
sent out last semester. We really wanted the
students to have a voice. The most popular ones were the Engineering Fountain, the Purdue Bell
Tower which also says 150 years, and lastly
but definitely not least, we have one penny that
commemorates the 50th Rumani. It’s something physical,
but it’s not too big, not too little, it’s just a penny. At the same time, it’s
gonna have that design, whatever you choose on
it, and so hopefully, it’s something you could
carry in your pocket, display on a shelf, and be just that little reminder of Purdue. I hope when they walk
up to it that they kinda feel like they’re standing
underneath the Bell Tower. Maybe it will bring them
back to their experience at Purdue walking by the
Bell Tower and kind of remind them of their days at school. I think it’s all about
reminiscing on the past and also reflecting on where you are now, how you got here and how Purdue
played into that journey. It’s only 51 cents to get one. Probably the cheapest souvenir at Purdue. I think a lot of people
enjoy just collecting some. (coins dropping) (“Hail Purdue!”) (pressed penny falling) (“Hail Purdue!”)