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Vermont Tech Engineers Visit K-12 Classrooms

Monday, February 25, 2013

February 18-24, 2013 was National Engineers Week, a time when the engineering profession celebrates its contributions to society, recognizes the achievements of engineers, and helps introduce the next generation of young adults to the world of engineering.  As part of this, some Vermont Tech faculty visited schools in the region to talk with current students.

On February 13, Professor Terrence Murphy and his son, Connor Murphy (a student in Vermont Tech’s BS program in Electromechanical Engineering Technology) visited the Thetford Academy in Thetford, Vermont.  They talked to Mr. Chabot’s robotics class about the different engineering disciplines that exist as well as the objective in general of engineering. Great discussions about engineering occurred, and tentative plans for a group of physics and chemistry students to visit Vermont Tech later in the year are in the making.

On February 18, Professor Scott Sabol visited his alma mater, Northfield Middle/High School, to speak to three sections of Ms. Amy Urling’s 9th grade science class about engineering and the relationship of math, science, and English to the world of engineering.  Prof. Sabol also discussed the many branches of engineering so that students would understand that engineering touches their lives in some way every single day. As part of his chats with the 9th graders, Prof. Sabol posed some basic engineering problem-solving questions, and he was “very impressed with their knowledge and excitement about science and math,” including aspects of current technological topics like wind power.   Prof. Sabol also met with Mr. Jerry Cassels’ 8th grade careers class, where he was interviewed by two students about what how and why he had become interested in engineering in the first place.

During his visit, Prof. Sabol was told about K-12 efforts in Vermont to introduce more STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) information and applications into the curriculum.  Prof. Sabol agreed to be a resource as Northfield attempts to do what many other Vermont schools are doing – introduce engineering despite there being few to no actual engineers among the K-12 teaching population.

About Vermont Technical College – Vermont Technical College is the only public institution of higher learning in Vermont whose mission is applied education. One of the five Vermont State Colleges, Vermont Tech serves students from throughout Vermont, New England, and beyond at its two residential campuses in Williston and Randolph Center, regional campuses in Brattleboro and Bennington and at six other nursing campuses located throughout the state. Our academic programs encompass a wide range of engineering technology, agricultural, health, and business fields that are vital to producing the knowledge workers need most by employers in the state and in the region.