SAULT STE. MARIE: Today, Saturday, March 7, at the Station Mall, the community had the chance to see first-hand the exciting world of engineering in honour of National Engineering Month. Children had the opportunity to participate in one of the many interactive stations. From creating buttons, building marshmallow towers, math challenges, colouring contest, bridge contest, and even the chance to see 3D printing, there was something for everyone to enjoy.
National Engineering Month is one of Canada’s most significant celebrations of engineering. Marc Pilon, P. Eng, Professor and Coordinator of Civil Engineering Department, Sault College, says, “The purpose of National Engineering Month is to bring awareness to youth on their potential career paths in engineering as well as the skilled trades. It’s a great opportunity for students to test out some of their interests with hands-on examples and learn a little bit more about engineering.”
Each display brought something exciting and fun to offer and got the mind thinking that there are more avenues to pursue in engineering. Sault College and Algoma Steel had their representatives to educate those interested in those avenues.
“Just because I study engineering doesn’t mean I need to become a very technological engineer. There are many different fields I can branch out. Engineering teaches you a mindset to push for further development. I get hands-on practical knowledge, I get more development skills, and I keep pushing myself,” says Matthew Lacasse, Graduate Engineer Training, Algoma Steel.
On the other side of the mall, near The Body Shop, members of the VEX Robotics Team were there to show off their skills. At three different stations, robots were building towers, placing balls into boxes, and displaying their capability.
“VEX Robotics is a program with hands-on learning, with students from grades 4 to 12, building robots in their schools, a part of teams. Students get a chance of learning how to design something from lines on a piece of paper to something driving around the mall. They truly get to see their project from start to finish,” says Marc Pilon, P. Eng, Professor and Coordinator of Civil Engineering Department, Sault College.
It’s stressed that if anyone is interested in pursuing a career in engineering or in skilled trades, to start looking. There might be something out there that you never thought of before.