Engineering Week Gives High School Students Exposure to the Real World

Engineering Week Gives High School Students Exposure to the Real World

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Engineers Week is celebrated nationally and the Texas A&M University-Kingsville Frank H. Dotterweich College of Engineering also took part in this celebration.

The purpose of Engineers Week is to call attention to the contributions to society that engineers make and also to emphasize the importance of learning math, science and technical skills.

TAMUK chose to celebrate it by inviting 277 students from South Texas schools to visit campus and compete in a challenge where they were required to build a project up from scratch.

“We chose to celebrate it by having this competition,” said Stephan Nix, Dean of the College of Engineering. “They will also tour the engineering facilities.”

Nix said the competition exposes students to the designing process and what it means to create something new.

“Our first mission is to keep them interested in engineering,” Nix said.

He said that some of the skills the students had to use was creativity because they get a bag full of stuff to create a car or something that travels some distance.

Doug Dalglish, Professor at Presbyterian Pan American School, said such events are important because it gets students out of the classroom and they actually apply their knowledge to the real world.

“It helps them have some knowledge about friction, weight, and force, but lots of it is just common sense and working with what they are given,” Dalglish said.

Dalglish said seeing projects without any wheels was very interesting. He said the competition was all about making it practical.

“A lot of things in the world are possible but engineers take what is possible and make it actually practical,” Dalglish said.

Dalglish said the experience has been pretty good for the whole school and for the students to really think about applying the theoretical knowledge to a practical problem.

Luka Budilo, senior from Gregory-Portland High School was among the many students and said he had a fun experience and enjoyed working as a team with other students.

“We had a team building exercise where with the materials provided we tried to construct the most efficient car that we could,” Budilo said.

Budilo said he was very excited to see that his team’s car was one of the best.

“I was very excited, it was a proud moment when we saw how far it went,” Budilo said.

Budilo plans to be an engineer and plans to enroll at A&M-College Station and said his father, who is an architect, inspires him. Budilo is enrolled in AP classes and the top math and science classes.

Team working and efficiency were essential to the success of Budilo’s project, he said.

“Working in a group builds team building skills and helps you within the bounds and constrictions of real world activities,” Budilo said. “It also shows how much you can do with so little.”

Some of the materials the students used were bottle caps, plastic bottles, CD’s and balloons.