Roughly 80 students from five area high school districts visited Alfred State recently to explore engineering and technical careers and take part in a hands-on building competition as part of National Engineers Week.
Founded by the National Society of Professional Engineers in 1951, the week is dedicated to ensuring a diverse and well-educated future engineering workforce by increasing understanding of and interest in engineering and technology careers, according to www.nspe.org.
During the high schools’ visit, Alfred State students in the School of Architecture, Management, and Engineering Technology showcased the many great projects and activities they engage in at the college through various clubs and organizations. Participating student groups included Associated General Contractors of America, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Women Engineers are Pioneers, Architecture Club, Robotics Club, Alfred State Information Security Team, Radio Control Club, Science Society, and Baja SAE (formerly known as Society of Automotive Engineers).
School districts that attended the event were from Alfred-Almond, Arkport, Avoca, Hornell, and Scio. After learning about the clubs that were present, students then took part in a design challenge in which they used materials to make a windmill to pick up a load of marbles. The students were judged on the size and weight of the windmill, the speed of picking up the load, and the amount of weight picked up.
The winners of the challenge were Hunter Gurnsey and Ben Stilson (both of Avoca), and Nicole Katsur and Marc Arnault (both of Arkport). Each student received a certificate of achievement and a prize pack.
Dr. John Williams, dean of the Alfred State School of Architecture, Management, and Engineering Technology, said that the showcase is a great way for high school students to explore and learn more about technical and engineering careers.
“Students don’t often recognize or consider that technology and engineering are viable career paths,” Williams said. “There are some preconceived notions that only the strongest math students should make the attempt. This simply isn’t true and there is an entire spectrum where students can find a pathway to a successful career and we hope to share this message and help students make more informed choices.”