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wind tunnel tests aerodynamics of wing designHigh schoolers test the aerodynamics of their wing designs during a visit last week to the Faculty of Engineering.

High school visit to campus marks return of in-person engineering outreach

More than 140 Windsor Essex Catholic District School Board high school students converged at the Faculty of Engineering to experience and learn about aerospace, industrial, and mechatronics engineering on Thursday, May 5.

The day was particularly momentous in that it was the first field trip the Faculty of Engineering outreach program has hosted in over two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. In-person visits to high school classrooms resumed about three weeks ago.

“Although we did things virtually during the pandemic, just due to the nature of engineering, learning about it in-person with the opportunity to do hands-on activities is always more beneficial and provides a more enjoyable experience to those participating,” says Mike Konstantino, engineering outreach co-ordinator.

Mike St. Pierre, a teacher consultant at the Windsor Essex Catholic District School Board adds: “The students and teachers were thrilled to have the opportunity to finally visit the University of Windsor campus in-person. You could see the excitement in their eyes when they arrived.”

Students from Villanova, St. Anne, and Holy Names high schools engaged in activities and presentations throughout the day:

  • Aerospace — an introduction to aerodynamics and aerospace engineering challenged teams to design their own mini-airplane wings. The design was then tested in a model wind tunnel specially constructed for the outreach program.
  • Industrial — an intro to production flow methods challenged teams to optimize, test, and determine the best production method for building a product, robots made out of Lego bricks.
  • Mechanical and electrical — an introduction to mechatronics challenged students to code a self-driving car using an open-source electronic prototyping platform enabling them to create interactive electronic objects.

“Today’s event was a fabulous opportunity for our STEM students to better understand the field of engineering,” says St. Pierre. “The interactions with faculty and grad students provided them with insight on what it would be like to continue their studies at the University of Windsor.

“The Centre for Engineering Innovation building is a world class research facility. I am always amazed when I come for visits.”

Konstantino says it was good to welcome the secondary school students back to the facility.

“The field trip also gave us an opportunity to showcase some of our newer hands-on activities highlighting different areas of engineering that we hadn’t been able to do yet because of the pandemic,” he says. “Industrial was done for the first time and aerospace is relatively new as well. I would say overall that the field trip day was a great success.”

Email Konstantino at mikek@uwindsor.ca for more information or to inquire about upcoming outreach programming.

—Gam Macasaet

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