Twenty-eight high schoolers from Jackson and DeKalb counties participated in the first ever High School Engineering Experience, LEAP into Engineering Technology, hosted recently by Northeast Alabama Community College.
Students were given three engineering challenges during the six-hour event:
1st Challenge – Reverse Engineering. Students disassembled a NERF Blaster to determine how it actually works.
2nd Challenge – Product Improvement. Students improved the range of the NERF Blaster by utilizing information from the Reverse Engineering process. A test range was set up for students.
3rd Challenge – Target Design. Students designed a positive indication, reusable target with three scoring levels.
“It was a really fun day, and the students came up with some very good ideas! Some teams improved the range of their blaster 25%,” said Deni Adkins, P.E., Engineering Tech Instructor. “We wanted to give high schoolers a taste of the engineering design process, to see how much fun it can be. Engineering Tech is a great way to enjoy a rewarding career in a highly technical field without a four-year degree.”
Adkins continued, “NACC’s Engineering Technology program is about to finish up its fifth year. This year’s graduates scored an average of over 10 points higher than the national average on the NOCTI Engineering Tech exam. Local industries are realizing the value of having engineering technicians as part of the engineering staff. They have a sound mechanical and electrical background and can really help carry the workload. Our graduates are working all over the region - in Scottsboro, Fort Payne, Huntsville, Cullman, Trenton, GA, and Chattanooga, TN, just to name a few. ”
Northeast offers the Associate in Applied Science, certificate, and short-term certificate in Engineering Technology. The median hourly wage for engineering technicians in the US in 2014 was $29.57 (Source: America’s CareerInfoNet, 2015. Earnings vary based on experience, education, and location). Engineering technicians are typically employed in the same places where engineers are employed, including the aerospace, energy, construction, consulting, and manufacturing industries. “Students who enter this emerging field are expected to be faced with a number of opportunities for employment in the coming years,” explained Adkins.
New students are accepted each term. While this program is not designed as a transfer program, some students may wish to complete the program and work in the field while pursuing a Bachelor’s degree. This program is approved for Federal financial aid including Pell grants and student loans.
For more information about becoming an engineering technician, contact Adkins at 256-638-4418 or 256-228-6001, extension 2277 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For additional college information, go to www.nacc.edu or download the college’s free App at the App Store or by going to www.naccmobile.com.