DuBOIS, Pa. — High school students from around the region gathered at Penn State DuBois for Discover Engineering Day on Oct. 24. The event aimed to educate high school students about the many avenues they can explore through an engineering career.
Students, faculty and staff from Penn State DuBois worked together with the Engineering Ambassadors Program to bring this event to the DuBois campus, allowing more than 100 high school students to learn about engineering, what engineers do, and why they should consider engineering as a career path.
We were thrilled to be able to collaborate with Penn State Dubois to host students from surrounding school districts for this great event.
—Lori Miraldi , director of the Engineering Ambassadors Program
“The Engineering Ambassadors are engineering undergraduate students who are passionate about sharing the magic of engineering with K-12 students,” said Lori Miraldi, director of the Engineering Ambassadors Program. “We were thrilled to be able to collaborate with Penn State Dubois to host students from surrounding school districts for this great event. Our event was generously supported by a gift from David and JoEllen Sallack, making it possible for schools to bring their students to Penn State Dubois and enabling this collaboration with Engineering Ambassadors for the first time.”
The day started with a welcome message from representatives from both the Engineering Ambassadors Program and Penn State DuBois, including Jungwoo Ryoo, chancellor and chief academic officer, who led everyone in a “We Are… Penn State” cheer, a time-honored Penn State tradition. After hearing information about Penn State DuBois and the application process at the campus, participants also received a detailed review of the schedule for the day before being placed into groups and heading into the DEF Building.
Engineering Ambassadors gave a presentation on electric vehicles, which was the base for the day's learning activity. After learning some engineering basics of electric vehicles, students worked in groups to build their own vehicle prototypes powered by electric motors. Each group had the opportunity to explore their own designs to determine which one worked best for them. They also had the opportunity to make changes to their designs, equipment and other factors, based on feedback from the Engineering Ambassadors. Students finished off the activity by testing their designs against one another to see who could complete the fastest time trial.
After a break for lunch, everyone gathered in Hiller Auditorium for a college life discussion panel that featured current students in engineering programs at both the DuBois and University Park campuses. They answered questions about what drove them to enter the engineering program they are in, what the hardest part of the program has been thus far, what their favorite aspect of their engineering program is, how much have they been enjoying their time at Penn State and what advice would they give to students who are considering an engineering program in the future.
To close out the day, Lion Ambassadors from Penn State DuBois gave everyone a guided tour of campus, including the engineering labs.
“We hope that the students enjoyed being engineers for a day and can see themselves potentially pursuing engineering in the future,” Miraldi said.