GREENVILLE – Greenville High School’s (GHS) Career-Technical Center Engineering students celebrated National Engineer’s Week, February 19-25.
The week is observed by more than 70 engineering, educational and cultural societies, as well as more than 50 corporations and government agencies, to highlight the good works done by engineers.
To participate in the annual celebration, the GHS Engineering Program’s junior and senior students, under the direction of Instructors Chris Sykes and Adam Eberwein, designed balsa earthquake – resistant structures. The models were designed, built and tested, by teams of students to understand how a building reacts to the violent shaking of an earthquake. The models were tested on a tremor table, Friday, Feb. 24.
Greenville Mayor Steve Willman kicked off the competition with a proclamation, recognizing National Engineer’s Week. Eberwein fired up the tremor table that shook each structure. Students gathered around as the nail-biting testing took place. Those anticipating a great explosion, were disappointed. After the first three structures remained in-tact, it appeared that some real learning was taking place by the students in the Engineering Program.
“It is pretty impressive, because for three structures to already be maxed and not breaking – they have done their research,” Sykes said.
To add more pressure to the structures, the floor loading on the tremor table was increased by a 10-pound weight. Awards were given for first through third places.
Principal Engineer Jerry McClannan and few engineers with Mote & Associates, Inc. came to the school Wednesday, to help mentor the students during the design process. The students were not allowed to actually build the structures until the morning of the testing. Mote & Associates’ sponsorship of the competition, is to help get students interested in engineering. One of the students in the class interns with the company after school,” McClannan said.
“We’ve done that for several years to try to hire kids and give them an opportunity to see what engineering is about,” he said.
The company also gives out two scholarships every year, for any student, in high school or college, wanting to go into engineering, architecture or surveying.
“I think all three of the fields are very important,” McClannan said. “We have plenty of infrastructure in this country that needs to be maintained and improved. Projects are constantly on-going that involve engineering.”
Junior student Julie Roseberry will be working on some of those projects. By the end of next year, she will have enough college credits to have an Associates Degree in Robotical Engineering.
“The really nice thing about being a woman in the engineering field is that you are needed because you think differently than men, so companies are willing to pay you more,” she said.
GHS Career Technology Director/Coordinator of Technology and Virtual Academy Stan Hughes said Engineer’s Week gives students a chance to showcase what they do all year long.
“This project-based learning and the critical thinking involved in designing and developing items like this, and then the testing, is what we are trying to do on a daily basis,” he said. “The other part that I think is super important, is we have people from the community making partnerships with these guys and then hopefully our engineering students are able to understand the importance of networking and getting contacts in that field.
“This will help in them moving forward when they get out of college to know these people who are in the industry, who give them jobs and maybe bring them back to Greenville,” Hughes added. “We need to bring people back that go away to college and keep them interested in our county and in the area.”
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