400 Shaker Junior High School students got to take advantage of working with RPI engineering students on a variety of projects designed to spark their interest in STEM related fields. A group of eight college students, who are part of the RPI Ambassador Program, promoted National Engineering Month by facilitating three different interactive activities for the students in their technology classes:
- Designing a roller coaster
- Designing digital sound speakers
- Working with satellites and GPS
Students were provided a material list and a budget that they needed to follow. While the activities were mock in nature, SJHS technology teacher Brian Christiansen says the timing is just right, as eighth graders are in the midst of finishing their course selections for their first year of high school next year.
After the technology classes were finished for the day, the RPI Ambassadors met with the students a whole to answer questions about how to embark on an engineering career and the course work that is needed to get there.
“When I was in high school, I didn’t know what I wanted to do until someone told me about chemical engineering,” said senior Chemical Engineering major and RPI Ambassador, Nick Ziter. “I want the students to know how many opportunities there are for them.”
Christiansen says the goal for next year is to try and do an ambassador program every semester, to reach even more students.
“The biggest advantage here is the opportunity to solve a problem, face a challenge, and learn as a team,” he said. “They had a lot of fun doing it.”