Our Future Looks Bright with These Young Engineers!

Written by: Kelsey Plute

Aspiring engineers in grades 1 through 12 gathered at West Virginia University’s Engineering Challenge Camps for a week of hands-on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math)/STEAM (STEM + Art) activities to learn teamwork, evaluation and problem-solving skills.  STEAM is a new program that adds art and creativity to technology innovation. This year the camp included tours of and demonstrations within the WVU EcoCAR 3 garage. The students participated in an activity that allowed their creative minds to explore different avenues to finish a project successfully and efficiently.

The all-female high school engineering camp visited the WVU EcoCAR 3 team and learned about the EcoCAR 3 competition, the WVU STEM program, and participated in a Rube Goldberg Machine activity. This activity saw teams of five students work together to create a multi-material contraption with the goal of getting a marble to roll from a start to the finish line. Each team was given 25 minutes to complete their “machine” before giving a demonstration to the others. The exercise helped develop and demonstrate the creativity, teamwork and problem-solving skills that are so important in STEM fields.


Processed with Rookie Cam

The coed high school engineering camp visited the WVU EcoCAR 3 garage and participated in the Rube Goldberg Machine activity to hone their creativity, teamwork and problem solving skills.

Processed with Rookie CamProcessed with Rookie Cam

The students learned about the EcoCAR 3 competition, with its iconic Chevrolet Camaro, and specific team positions. Then the students were given the opportunity to tour the EcoCAR team garage to get a glimpse of the kind of work the team performs each day.  After seeing how engineering is applied in the EcoCAR 3 competition, they flexed their own engineering muscles through the Rube Goldberg exercise.

To learn more about WVU Engineering Camps or the EcoCAR3 competition, contact outreach coordinator Cate Schlobohm, Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, at cate.schlobohm@mail.wvu.edu. You may also find and follow the college and competition on Twitter and Facebook.