A fascination with building things led Alex Salmon to participate in the SEED (Stewards in Engineering Education) Experience at UBC Okanagan’s School of Engineering.
Paired with researchers in the Thermo-Fluidics Laboratory, Salmon spent a week last summer collaborating with researchers to build, design and invent within a real research project.
Salmon called the experience a true adventure. “I learned that they are actually working towards solutions to real life problems and that their designs may become the future of technology (or the base of it at least), which is thrilling to know that we can have that kind of effect on society!”
Through hands-on learning, Salmon says the experience provided him with a better sense of what Engineering is really about and prepared him for his studies at the School of Engineering.
As a SEED participant, Salmon conducted supervised work within the Thermo-Fluidics lab including testing prototypes sensors that identified corrosive hydrogen sulfide levels in sewer pipelines. He began learning 3D design to create printable parts for future devices.
“This program absolutely affected my choice in University programs as I got caught up in the creativity of it all and the science behind how everything works” explains Salmon.
Now a first-year engineering student at the Okanagan campus of UBC, Salmon says the SEED experience has already paid dividends as he puts his 3D designing skills to the test.
The most interesting thing about the Engineering program, according to Salmon, is that your imagination is your limit. “You are provided with all of the tools you could ever need as an Engineer – software, tutors, and even a place called the MakerSpace where you can use any machine in there – from a high-tech liquid 3D printer to a wood/metal carver and even to an Arduino (computer chip) 3D printer! You’ve got so much at your fingertips – that’s probably one of the coolest parts about this program.”
The Stewards in Engineering Education (SEED) Program promotes engineering research interest and involvement among high school students. Through the program, students have the opportunity to participate in cutting-edge research projects with world-class researchers and graduate students in state-of-the-art laboratory facilities.
Students going into grades 9, 10, 11, or 12 can apply for the Program through the School of Engineering website.
Participants then share their research experiences with their peers the following school year. The hope is that the shared research experiences will plant seeds for future interest and involvement in engineering.