The Northwest Technical Center’s Outreach Coordinator, Agnieszka Gagne is helping to stimulate Franklin county middle schooler’s appreciation of STEM activities by hosting a Tech and Engineering day. Agnieszka received a Challenge Grant from the STEM Challenge Initiative to help support the 2017 Tech and Engineering Day. This event, which was held on April 12, 2017, was attended by over 150 students from four local middle schools: Missisquoi Valley Union Middle School, St. Albans City School, Fairfield Middle School and St. Albans Town Educational Center.
The intended purpose of Tech and Engineering day is to bring together middle school students from different area middle schools to compete in fun STEM related activities. Leeann Wright, Director of the Northwest Technical Center, says that she hopes that these fun competitions will stimulate these students to pursue STEM related educational opportunities and activities in the future.
The all day event included: arrival and registration where students were given Tech and Engineering tee shirts. Students were welcomed by Leeann Wright the Director of the Northwest Technical Center and encourage to have fun while competing in their respective events. Then a group of Northwest Technical Center students presented their Rube Goldberg devices. Some worked marvelously others not so much but that’s to be expected. The students loved the interactive displays.
Before the first round of competitions all students attended a panel presentation that included student presenters from the BFA Design Technology program, an MVU Science Fair presentation, Northwest Technical Center Engineering students and Tim Smith, Chairman of the STEM Challenge Initiative Board of Directors and Executive Director of Franklin County Industrial Development Corporation. This was a rich, interactive presentation that included a lot of Q & A.
The morning round of competitions included: Engineering Career Research and Marketing – Bridge Construction – Material Design – Web App Design – Construction Competition
The afternoon round of competitions included: Edible car competition – Material Engineering – Packaging Design – Toy Design – Electrical Circuits
The day concluded with an awards ceremony with students winning Bronze, Silver and Gold medals for each competition.
The Northwest Technical Center wants to encourage middle school students to start thinking about personal learning plans that potentially could lead to careers in STEM fields. At the same time they are encouraging their current engineering high school students to take on leadership roles.