Midview students Elijah Kanavel, Nicole Whiting, Nick Patterson, Kayla Danicki, Jacob Schneider, Hannah Pfeifer and Matt Goetz mingled with more than 1,200 like-minded students at Firestone High School for the competition.
They were under the guidance of chemistry teacher and Project Lead the Way instructor Brian Wanosky and CADD exploratory technology I and II teacher Tim Daley.
The group of students created and entered a video application in hopes of winning up to $7,500 in grant money to be used toward furthering science, technology, engineering and/or math programs within their school.
This was the first time Midview has participated in the Goodyear Engineering Career Day.
Throughout the day, students rotated through a series of panel presentations and demonstrations from organizations, which included a hands-on competition requiring engineering acumen.
Junior Elijah, 17, said one of the hands-on projects including building an egg drop. The idea behind the experiment was to see which group of students built the safest holding cell for the egg as it rolled down a ramp and through a set of obstacles.
Elijah, who plans to study either chemical or computer systems engineering in college, said the hands-on experiments allowed him and his fellow students a glimpse into the day-to-day operations engineers undertake.
“I find engineering interesting because engineers are always needed,” Elijah said.
Fellow student Nicole, 16, said her first interest in engineering began the summer between sixth and seventh grades when she attended a science/math camp. Her interest grew as an eighth-grader when she saw a presentation focused on engineering.
Nicole, now a junior, said she plans on pursuing a career in either mechanical or aerospace engineering.
And being in a field that once was dominated by men doesn’t intimidate her.
“Today (at career day) there was an even split between boys and girls, but at Midview High School, there are only two girls (interested) in engineering,” Nicole said.
Nicole said that she and the other student have given presentations to the younger female students in the hopes that one day they too will think twice about entering the field of engineering.
But, Nicole knows from experience that hands-on experiments are the best way to gain knowledge of a field of interest.
“This was our first year here and we are going to take the experience gained here and come back stronger next year,” Nicole said.
Wanosky said the eight students (only seven were able to attend the event on April 20) began preparing for career day nearly two months ago.
Wanosky said the students would like to start a robotics team at the high school and any funds won at competitions would go toward that goal.
“The students want to raise the funds to form a robotics team. They want to be able to compete with robotics,” Wanosky said.
Goodyear chief technology officer Joseph Zekoski said the idea behind the event is to educate students on the career possibilities that are available to them if they pursue an educational or professional future in engineering.
“It’s important for young people to know that engineers can do anything, and sometimes it’s very hard for young people to understand what engineers do,” Zekoski said, adding that it’s important for today’s youth to interact with a good source of engineers in order to understand the field of study.
Send your Grafton/LaGrange/Columbia news to Melissa Linebrink, 329-7155 or firstname.lastname@example.org.