On May 10, students from Rimbey Junior Senior High School took part in day two of ASET STEM Camp Series day camps at Red Deer Polytechnic.
Ten of those students were from Rimbey and three were from Ecole Secondaire Lacombe Composite High School.
Other students from Wolf Creek Public Schools also attended on May 3.
ASET stands for The Association of Science & Engineering Technology Professionals. Students were exposed to two disciplines of electrical engineering technology and mechanical engineering.
“We take the students to a polytechnic institute or college and they’re right in that environment where technologists are educated,” said Barry Cavanaugh, ASET CEO.
“What they were doing together was a project that would blend the skills and knowledge of both of those disciplines,” said Cavanaugh.
They were also able to work with both instructors and ASET volunteers from those technologies.
“In the end, the way they blended both skills and knowledge groups, was they built a remote controlled car from scratch,” said Cavanaugh, adding that they then got to race them.
He said it’s often hard for people in high school or junior high to understand what a career in engineering or applied science technology is all about, so they wanted to make an effort to make sure they are exposed to that, so they are able to have a choice in their careers.
“I think there’s a lot to be said for giving young people the opportunity to look at these disciplines, because when we’ve done these STEM camps, they’re really enthusiastic about it. It’s something brand new to them, that very involved, very complicated, and yet it’s something they learn pretty quickly that they can do with the right amount of knowledge and preparation.”
ASET is working to get STEM camps offered in other schools, so other students can also take part.
“I think for some of the students I’ve spoken to, it sort of brings science and math alive for them...”
Recent studies have shown that there is a national shortage in STEM skills, which makes engineering technology a profession that is high in demand. It also pays well to start for those getting right out of school.