Fresh out of school for the summer and back in the classroom, eager high school students designed, innovated, and solved problems at Marian University’s Innovations Engineering Camp.
“I really like the hands-on part of it,” explained Aaden Mapp, a rising senior at Pike High School. “It helps me understand and adapt better to certain tasks, plus I’m thinking I want to be an engineer as I really like working with a team.”
Team building is what it’s all about; students experienced hands-on engineering and construction activities and worked with computer-aided design (CAD) software and machine shop equipment. The task at hand? Designing a miniature train bridge.
“I just finished making this train bridge that will transport and hold water,” said Carmel High School rising senior Aurora Schmidt. “I’ve always been intrigued with engineering since I enjoy building things and seeing how you can design, construct, and help your community,” Schmidt said. Marian University student and camp counselor Hugo Vasquez ’26 was in awe of some projects. “Just seeing some of the sketches for the bridges, the equations they did just blows my mind,” he said. “The intelligence these students have is incredible.”
“It’s a win-win situation for these students,” said Binh Tran, Ph.D., dean of the new E. S. Witchger School of Engineering set to open August 2023. “These high school sophomores, juniors and seniors are able to work as a team to develop and solve different design challenges, while experiencing high-caliber engineering and educational programs,” Dr. Tran continued. “An added bonus is they got a chance to see what type of engineer they may want to be.”
Students also got a glimpse into college life since they lived in a Marian dorm for the week. They also traveled to Marian Inc., Eli Lilly and Company, and Citizens Energy Group for immersive experiences. The icing on the cake was designing their own projects and participating in an exhibit for their families.
“I’m really enjoying this and it’s a lot of fun seeing how things fit together, and you meet so many great people,” Schmidt added. “More women should seek out engineering careers.”
The E. S. Witchger School of Engineering offers biomedical, chemical, civil, computer, mechanical, and engineering physics engineering degrees.