Competition teaches high schoolers to think like engineers

A typical day on the job for an engineer often requires using limited resources to find quick and creative solutions to pressing challenges.

More than 60 local high school students got a feel for the demands of engineering when they were tasked with designing and building a wheeled vehicle in less than a day during the Windsor Engineering Student Society’s High School Design Competition on March 29.

“Engineering is appealing because the world is changing and we’re seeing revolutionary changes in technology that can really help society in the future,” said participant Robert Lupoiu, citing nanotechnology as an example.

Lupoiu was part of the Riverside High School team of four that won the competition with a three second finish across the 25-foot finish line. He and his teammates, Eldon Liu, Paramjot Gogia and Joshua Trang received a plaque at the Windsor-Essex Engineering Month Luncheon on April 1 at the Caboto Club.

The student society hosts the annual competition at the Centre for Engineering Innovation in partnership with the Windsor Essex County Engineering Month Committee, which includes representatives from UWindsor, St. Clair College, City of Windsor, County of Essex and local firms.

With a small amount of provided materials, including Allen keys and a wrench, the Grade 11 and 12 students spent hours constructing and testing their vehicles. Teams were scored on the design and performance of the vehicle — distance and time — and a presentation given to a panel of judges comprised of fourth year mechanical engineering students.

“The competition is part of engineering month, which is a celebration of engineering and engineering technologies,” said Dr. Jacqueline Stagner, engineering undergraduate programs coordinator and engineering month committee member. “The competition is also a way for high school students to come and learn more about our campus and the field of engineering.”

View photos from the event here.