It was bitterly algid on the morning of February 2nd aback a accumulation of 17 girls from Henry James Memorial Academy (HJMS), boarded a academy bus to go to Simsbury Aerial Academy (SHS) for the Engineering Department’s anniversary Girls in Engineering Day.
After a balmy acceptable in the amphitheater from Joncia Lytwynec, Director of Instructional Technology K-12 and FIRST Robotics aggregation coach, acceptance were led to the Architecture and Drafting allowance for an overview by Career and Technical Education (CTE) Supervisor Dr. Wendy Ku of SHS’s Project Lead the Way (PLTW) engineering program. Dr. Ku aggregate her claimed acquaintance of an externship she had with a bounded engineering close while teaching engineering at SHS. She was confronted with skepticism from a visiting German architect about her adeptness to use a software program—one actual agnate to the one she was teaching her aerial academy students. Quickly she accepted she knew her way about the program, finer airless the skeptic. Said Ku, “What you apprentice in this chic is absolutely what is actuality acclimated in the industry.”
The 3-D printer was a big hit with the middle-schoolers. Ku let them accept a agenda book to print, and they called a tchotchke of an upside bottomward dog. Through an accretion process, the little dog was formed by injecting alternating layers of aqueous artificial until the article was complete.
Across the hall, Lytwynec gave acceptance a bout of SHS’s new Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) lab, which was adjourned by a admission from the Ensign-Bickford Foundation. Several SHS engineering apprentice volunteers were on duke to advice with anniversary leg of the bout and served as able cheerleaders for girls in engineering. Several of them had been complex in the planning and architecture of the new STEM lab. Installed this accomplished fall, the lab is already well-equipped. Posted about the lab are board signs crafted in SHS’s own copse shop, labeled Architecture & Prototype, Fabrication, and Evaluation & Presentation, which adumbration at the ambit of basal acquirements that happens in the altered areas of the lab. It is a advanced accessible amplitude with stackable chairs, wheeled tables, foldable allowance dividers that bifold as whiteboards, state-of the art computers, a 3-D printer, and a arrangement maker for accomplishment prototypes of students’ ideas. Lytwynec said, “This is what we accept so far, but we accept lots added planned!”
Lytwynec explained why the STEM lab allowances so abounding students, whether it’s associates of the FIRST Robotics aggregation advancing their apprentice for competition, Aerospace Engineering acceptance architecture a rocket, or any added project-based experience. “You go to the library to get things done,” she said, “but the STEM lab is your library for hands-on learning.”
Technical Education Coordinator Kurt Dougan gave acceptance a bout of the copse and accomplishment boutique and automotive facility. One of his acceptance approved the action of authoritative a “freedom pen” on a lathe. Anniversary November SHS hosts an anniversary Freedom Pen-a-Thon to account veterans and veterans’ organizations. This year, volunteers bogus added than 300 custom, hand-crafted pens that were donated to American servicemen and women. Dougan gestured against a metal can abounding of the pens and apprenticed the girls to booty one and accord it to a adept they know.
Dougan again explained the engineering abaft two Electrathon cars, which acceptance body in the Engineering Architecture Development chic and again chase anniversary year at Lime Rock Park. So far the team’s best assuming has been third place, but, said Dougan, “With added girls as drivers we’d accept a bigger chance. Girls tend to booty admonition better. Boys pretend they don’t apprehend you because they aloof appetite to canyon the added cars!”
It was Engineering abecedary Dave Salonia’s about-face to amaze the beginning engineers in the computer lab, with a affirmation of the computer-aided drafting (CAD) software, AutoDesk Inventor, which they would become accomplished at if they took Introduction to Engineering Design. Salonia acclaimed that although the chic is mainly for freshmen, it does allure sophomores and juniors, alike some seniors. Exclaimed inferior Valerie Lee, “Some bodies amount out we accept this air-conditioned cool chic after than others!”
Salonia and the engineering apprentice volunteers absolved acceptance through the accomplish bare to architecture a 3-D beaker on the computer. Once they accomplished the basal design, the girls enjoyed customizing the blush and the abstracts to accomplish their architecture unique.
The Girls in Engineering accident assured aback at the amphitheater with a presentation by Melanie Marchetti, a changeable architect with affluence of real-world experience, including 25 years at GE. Principal Andy O’Brien chock-full by to say accost to the HJMS acceptance and animate them to booty SHS engineering classes.
The middle-schoolers absolved abroad from the accident with a new acknowledgment for the assignment of engineers and the ability that they, abnormally as females in a commonly male-dominated environment, accept absolute abeyant to accomplish a aberration in people’s lives.
As Salonia said aback in the computer lab, “Look about this room. Everything actuality has been affected by engineers.”
SHS Engineering apprentice volunteers for the Girls in Engineering accident were:
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