High school students challenged to build a Mars lander at Wednesday’s annual engineering challenge


Winning team from St. Peter’s Mike Mierzejewski, from left, Lauren Davis, Michela Montgomery and Will Jamieson are framed next to their popsicle stick bridge during the annual Popsicle Stick Challenge as part of National Engineering Month on Tuesday, March 4, 2014 at the Evinrude Centre. The 2015 challenge, involving building a Mars lander, is set for Wednesday. CLIFFORD SKARSTEDT/Peterborough Examiner/QMI Agency FILE PHOTO

Some local high school students will have a chance to see if engineering is up their career alley during an engineering challenge Wednesday.

The Professional Engineers of Ontario (PEO) Peterborough Chapter and the Ontario Association of Certified Engineering Technicians and Technologists (OACETT) Peterborough Chapter are hosting a Mars Landing engineering challenge to let kids know what engineering is all about.

“We’re trying to expose the students to engineering or engineering technology as an occupation and trying to show them what it involves: problem solving,” said PEO member Henry Haemel.

The event takes place at the Evinrude Centre from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

This year’s challenge is a Mars Lander competition in the form of a classic egg drop.

Using a variety of materials, students will have to construct a device that will safely land an egg dropped from various heights.

Guided by a group of engineers and certified engineering technologists, students will work in groups to create the best egg-dropping system using engineering ideologies.

“We give them the general engineering principles, we give them the materials and we give them the problem, which is this egg drop, and it’s up to them to come up with the best solution,” Haemel said.

Before getting started, students will learn about the challenges of landing a craft on Mars, due to its unique combination of atmosphere and gravity, how that challenge has been met in the past and how it relates to the devices they’re be building.

Roughly 100 high school students from Peterborough, Port Hope and Lakefield will be participating in the challenge.

The day is meant to give students a glimpse into the world of engineering, while showing them it can be fun at the same time, Haemel said.

“I think engineering might be stereotyped as a boring career, but it’s quite interesting and fascinating.”


Read More: popsicle stick bridge making machine



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