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This is ag: Engineering competition being offered by Dal AC to high school students

Tim Thiesen, Amna Abbas, Colton Graham and Duncan Cameron can boast being a previous agricultural team from Dalhousie Agricultural College to earn a Canadian Engineering Competition championship. Engineering students from Dal AC will work with high school students who interested in the field during a special competition this month. Also pictured is Dal AC mascot, Rocky the Ram. NICK PEARCE PHOTO
Tim Thiesen, Amna Abbas, Colton Graham and Duncan Cameron can boast being a previous agricultural team from Dalhousie Agricultural College to earn a Canadian Engineering Competition championship. Engineering students from Dal AC will work with high school students who interested in the field during a special competition this month. Also pictured is Dal AC mascot, Rocky the Ram. NICK PEARCE PHOTO - Contributed

By Emma Geldart

BIBLE HILL, N.S. —

High school students with an interest in engineering have a unique opportunity coming up.

They will have the chance to experiment in a hands-on competition hosted at Dalhousie University Faculty of Agriculture (Dal AC) on May 31.

Teams will be given an engineering problem and three hours to plan and construct a prototype to develop a solution. No experience with engineering is necessary and all students with an interest in engineering are encouraged to participate in the competition.

Jack Lynds, Sarah van den Heuvel, Connor Mullins and Cody Smith recently competed and won at the annual Canadian Engineering Competition at the University of Waterloo in Ontario in a similar design competition.

The team was tasked with moving contaminated water from a low basin to a higher elevation collection tank. They then had to filter the contaminated water to remove unwanted particles and bio-oil. Students were given eight hours to design and build their prototype. Once built, they had to present their solution and demonstrate their prototype to a panel of judges.

“It felt amazing to win the competition for our campus for the third year in a row,” Lynds said. “I remember being in Grade 12 and hearing of their first national win. Last year, we were all thrilled for our team who brought home the second straight national title. We certainly felt the pressure of upholding the expectations from the previous two teams from Dal AC, but we were up for the challenge. When our name was called for first place, it was relieving and a feeling that is hard to put into words.”

The high school competition hopes to introduce engineering with a focus on sustainability to high school students and encourage them to consider engineering as a career choice. As the need for sustainable solutions for our everyday lives becomes more prevalent, new opportunities emerge for the next generation of engineers. The goal is to engage students in a hands-on and fun environment.

“We hope that students leave this competition feeling excited about engineering and their futures,” said Colette Wyllie, community education manager at the Dalhousie Agricultural Campus and member of the planning committee. “We hope they also enjoy working with their peers and learning from each other. Team competitions like these allow participants to build on the strengths of one another to identify stronger solutions for the challenge they are faced with. It’s reflective of real life and where their careers could take them.”

The competition will be open to all Grade 11 and 12 students in Nova Scotia. There is no cost to register and lunch will be provided. Students must register in advance and will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis at a maximum of 40 students who will then be divided into teams of four. Students will be given the opportunity to indicate a teammate, provided the request is made on both registration forms.

For more information on the high school engineering competition, visit: dal.ca/agdesigncomp

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