CEC Outreach hosts Big Brothers Big Sisters event

The CEC K-12 Outreach program run by Joanna Hohn, is designed “to educate and inspire a diverse group of future engineers and computer scientists through innovative thinking, problem solving, and career awareness”. You can read more about the program on their page.

Butler County and Miami Valley had middle and high school students recently visit Miami’s campus for the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. During their visit, they explored the College of Engineering and Computing as well as do some fun activities.

In the morning they started with an icebreaker, where the students got into a team with their Big Brother or Big Sister, and together they created a team name, designed an object to represent that name, and then got to build their design.

After that, the teams split into the MME lab and the CPB lab, where they got to tour and learn about the equipment and experiments/activities done in those labs. After lunch the students got to switch and go to the other lab.

lego design

The Big Brothers Big Sisters youth were able to get involved in the paper lab where they made paper handsheets and learned about the paper making process, as well as  current research in the field. 

The students were then given an opportunity to ask questions of the college students about advice for getting on the right path towards the career they wanted, and how they could start that journey in middle/high school.

The K-12 students also go to build an apparatus that would go around a Sphero robot. They had to make something that could move and then pop a balloon taped to the wall. This task is especially interactive, and one that many students do not get during their primary education.

The students were given lunch, during which they saw a presentation over the FIRST Tech Challenge. This is a robotics competition the outreach program will be hosting in January. More information can be found on the outreach page.

Not only were the students taught about the ways they can get involved with robotics, they were also able to see one used up close thanks to the help of Professor Dave Hartup.

In the future, Joanna hopes to make this a yearly event and involve even more students.

There are other outreach activities/programs such as Kode2Learn that will visit some community centers and do some STEM activities. The program is also going to some nearby schools to talk about the different degrees and career paths one can choose with engineering.

Kode2Learn will be leading a weekly programming class for 4th-6th graders at Booker T Washington YMCA starting in October. CEC staff and students will also be visiting Finneytown Secondary School and Mercy McAuley High School in October with engineering activities and career awareness presentations.

Please visit the Outreach page to learn how you could create an experience for your K-12 students.

Written by Kayleigh Schauseil, CEC Reporter