The competition invites students from colleges across Ontario to host an event during National Engineering Month (NEM) to compete for cash prizes and complimentary one-year Ontario Association of Certified Engineering Technicians and Technologists (OACETT) memberships.
Humber’s dedicated team, comprised of thirteen students from the Faculty of Applied Sciences and Technology, worked for more than four months to plan their community outreach event in the competition, geared towards young girls interested in engineering and STEM fields.
This year’s theme was “There’s a Place for You in Engineering.” The Humber team hosted two workshops at the Metamorphosis Girls STEM Conference at John Polanyi Collegiate Institute, introducing 32 participants in grades 5-8 to circuits and technology. The workshops gave young female students an opportunity to build their very own circuit board: a colour-controllable LED lantern. Applied Sciences and Technology professor Brandeen McDonald explains that the team “designed and developed an amazing, take-home workshop package that resonated with girls, and their parents.”
The Humber team worked tirelessly to design an activity that would demonstrate that engineering and STEM fields offer fun and engaging challenges. They focused on creating an atmosphere where young students were given the opportunity to think creatively, in an effort to foster an interest in the creation and understanding of technology. They also ensured each participant had a positive interaction with technology by recruiting volunteers to offer one-on-one support during the workshops. Humber’s Community Outreach and Workforce Development office hosted a booth display at the event to engage attendees who weren’t involved in the workshops.
The competition was made up of 16 student teams from 11 different schools, and the events were scored on effectiveness of messaging, integration of the NEM theme, and participant engagement. The final results were determined by the National Engineering Month Ontario Steering Committee.
In addition to their first-place finish, the team was rewarded in another way: workshop participants offered feedback that included, “I didn’t know electronics could be fun,” “I didn’t know I could do that,” and, “I feel proud.”
McDonald explains she’s incredibly proud of the Humber team. “They put in an untold amount of their free time to share their love of technology and give others a feeling of belonging, capability and accomplishment.”
View the full list of winners and watch the Humber team’s video here.