The sixth annual Senior Engineering Competition took place Wednesday morning at Rock Hill High School. It’s a chance for high school seniors in Lawrence County to show off the skills they’ve learned thanks to Collins Career Center’s STEM Program.
Seniors from 6 schools came out to show off their engineering skills. It’s a traveling competition that Rock Hill High School hosted this year as they were last year’s champions.
The big challenge this year was figuring out how to get supplies into remote areas, specifically after major storms. “These kids had to write two or three hundred lines of code to make these things work, and so it’s pretty complex,” said Satellite Coordinator for Collins Career Technical Center, Matt Monteville.
The STEM program is available to students in Lawrence County as early as 7th grade. Jordyn Koeper is a senior at Ironton High School and she’s been involved in the engineering program since she was in 8th grade. “I liked it that year because we built robots and so that was really fun, so I just stuck with it,” said Koeper.
John Higgins is also a senior at Ironton High School. He began the engineering program when he was a sophomore. “It’s definitely showed me what real teamwork is. Our engineering class is a team,” said Higgins. “We have to work together [because] if we don’t work together our projects don’t work.”
The program has even given kids in our area the chance to work with Habitat for Humanity. “We went up for a week and helped build a house with other older, retired veterans and military people,” said Koeper. “It was really awesome.”
Over 40 seniors in Lawrence County participated in the competition. The engineering program has been going on for 15 years now, and some colleges even reduce fees for students involved. “Ohio State will waive the first year of engineering school if they participate in our program,” said Monteville.
All in all, this program has helped get hundreds of kids from our area into college and into the engineering workforce, which Monteville says speaks volumes to the program’s sucess. “They’ve taken classes in civil engineering, structural engineering, electrical engineering and now what we wanna do is kind of reward them and see what skills they have,” said Monteville. “They choose to take our class because they know it’s going to get them ready for the future.”