One of the best learning opportunities for students are the opportunities to compete, and Southview students find those opportunities wherever they can. Such was the case on Friday, December 8th, when Southview Engineering teacher Jon Austin took fourteen students to the University of Toledo to compete in the College of Engineering’s High School Engineering Design Competition.
The competition has run for fourteen years, but this is Southview’s first crack at the challenge. On that Friday, students were given a paper bag of construction materials including, among other items, aluminum foil, PVC pipe, and address labels in lieu of tape. With only those materials, the students needed construct a stomp rocket. The results were judged not only on distance, but also on the mass of the rocket they propelled. So, if the team decided to shoot a small and light rocket, they could easily be beaten by a team propelling a much more massive rocket a shorter distance.
The Southview contingent consisted of four teams with three to four students ranging from sophomore to senior per team. The highest placement was seventh out of thirty-eight teams, pretty excellent for a first time. Mr. Austin intends to better that performance when he takes a group again next year. But, whatever the outcome, these and other opportunities will continue to help students explore engineering concepts in an exciting applied environment, just adding to the application already occurring in Mr. Austin’s many engineering courses on campus.