Fall engineering camp makes lots of noise

| October 19, 2015

There was, quite literally, music in the air as 28 high school women experimented with circuits at Sweet Briar’s Fall 2015 Explore Engineering Weekend. The event, which took place Oct. 16 and 17, drew participants from several states, including Virginia, Maryland, D.C., North Carolina and Texas.

Twenty-eight students participated in the Fall 2015 Explore Engineering Weekend at Sweet Briar. Photo by Paulette Porter-Stransky.

Sponsored by AREVA, the weekend course was taught by Hank Yochum, director of the Margaret Jones Wyllie ’45 Engineering Program, and visiting assistant professor of engineering Kaelyn Leake ’09, with assistance from several students in the program, including Nadirah Abdus-Sabur ’16, Marina Biel ’18, Ashley Federico ’16, Kristen Frey ’16, Lydia Fleck ’16, Des’rae Davis ’17, Citlali Molina ’16, Katy Drews ’16 and Ashton Reid ’17.

“We were thrilled to have such a large group of high school students on campus doing engineering,” Yochum said. “I think that these projects gave the students a fun glimpse into what is possible with engineering.”

The theme of this year’s camp was “Music, Art, Sound and Engineering.” After an introduction to the basics of circuits, participants worked on several projects that combined those elements.

Friday night involved building a working speaker out of household items. On Saturday, students created a Drawdio — an electronic pencil — and drew “musical” pictures using the conductive properties of graphite. They also made music by connecting both ends of the lead wire to complete the circuit: Some participants joined hands, making music when their hands touched. Another project, the Musicator Jr., let students experiment with LED lights flashing to incoming sound.

The weekend also included a visit from recent grad Lindsay Davis ’13, a process engineer at the advanced manufacturing and design company AMTI in Lynchburg, as well as a Q&A with Sweet Briar engineering students. In addition, the high school women had the chance to tour the riding center and speak with riding program director Mimi Wroten.

As in years past, project coordinator Paulette Porter-Stransky helped make the participants’ stay at the College a great experience.

For more information about the camp, and to register for our Spring 2016 Explore Engineering Weekend, or our weeklong Summer 2016 Explore Engineering Design course, visit sbc.edu/engineering/explore-engineering-high-school-women.

Janika Carey


Category: Engineering Science, Explore Engineering