Engineering: The next generation

The engineering building buzzed with high school students excited about engineering on Feb. 19.

The engineering building buzzed with high school students excited about engineering on Feb. 19.

The Engineering Discovery Showcase is a technical festival organized by the Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science, which is aimed at educating high school students and motivating them to enter the field of engineering by displaying hands-on projects designed by MCECS students.

“This is the third time we are organizing the showcase. Every year we have an increasing number of students taking part in the program,” said Kristen Nieman, program co-coordinator.

“When the program was first started, only 100 students took part. When we conducted it the next time we had 420 participants and this year the number has increased to 525. This is the sign of success of the program.”

The event displayed some of the Capstone projects done by undergraduate students from different fields of engineering like electrical, computer science, civil, mechanical and biomedical engineering. Some of the projects that got the attention of students involved robotics and audio effects.

There were guided tours to the labs in the engineering building and the students also got a chance to interact with various student groups like the Association for Computing Machinery, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the Society of Women Engineers.

Nieman and her team constantly work to improve the annual event by analyzing feed back from participating students. This year they added a new component called the Undergraduate Research Corner to help high school students come in contact with some of the research opportunities offered by the university.

The program is usually sponsored by MCECS but this time, due to the increasing success of the program and the growth in the number of students attending, industrial partners like Intel Corporation, Vestas and the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry came forward to help sponsor the event. 

Among the group of 525 students were 21 students from Parkrose High School, led by their math teacher Tammy Stamp, who was happy to bring her students to the event.

“This event would help my students to understand the diversity of the engineering field,” she said. “The tour to the labs under Computer Action Team helped us know about some of the hands-on IT works. I also liked the wonderful projects of Biomedical Engineering.”

Stamp also wanted to thank the Parkrose education fund for creating an opportunity for her group to take part in the event.

The students were happy for having attended the event as it helped them get insight into the engineering field.

“The event was educating. I liked the openness of the event, I was able to get what I wanted,” said Corey Roby, a student at Parkrose High School.

Evan Huynh, a student at Parkrose High School, said, “We learned many new things from the event. It was eye opening to what people actually do as engineers. The CAT labs demonstrated some models with immediate application.”