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March 8, 2014

Local students get up-close look at future in engineering

NEW CASTLE — Nearly 60 area students spent Thursday as engineer  hopefuls during Ellwood Quality Steel’s annual Engineering Day.

Twelve engineers from the company’s Moravia Street location spent the day with students at the company’s facility, giving them tours of the plants and explaining processes.

Students are encouraged by the group to use the day as a means to find out more about a future in engineering. They also had the opportunity to attend presentations and ask questions during an informal question-and-answer session.

The day wasn’t only about the engineers, though, as students from seven area schools also offered short presentations on an engineering topic of their choice.

According to Paula McMillen, executive director for Lawrence County School to Work, the presentations have improved each year.

“The students put on unbelievable presentations,” McMillen said. “They chose the subject and are given five minutes to present. It’s really amazing the work they put into these and the presentations themselves.”

Districts including Laurel, Mohawk, Neshannock, New Castle, Union, Lawrence County Career and Technical Center and Riverside presented this year in small groups of five to nine students.

Topics covered included 3D printing, engineering of Pittsburgh bridges and engineering past and present.

Eleventh- and 12th-grade students from New Castle Area School District looked to current events for their topic choice, biomedical engineering, with specific focus on artificial brains and hearts.

“There is a strong interest in our group to go into biomedical engineering,” student John Maas said. “The topic of artificial biomedical engineering is also a hot debate as of late.”

Lawrence County Career and Technical students also took looked to current events, covering the topic of oil and gas engineering. Reflecting on the skilled trade classes available at their school, the students also presented a course overview on the center’s forthcoming oil and gas program curriculum.

No matter what the students chose to present on for the day, one thing is certainly assured, according to McMillen: “Even the real engineers are impressed by their presentations.”

(Email: ncliving@ncnewsonline.com)

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