STEM Workshop empowers NDDHS students during National Engineering Month

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Grade 9 Design and Tech students Alyssa Buchanan (left) and Wyatt Thomas (right).

Last week, in celebration of March being National Engineering Month, North Dundas District High School (NDDHS) witnessed a flurry of innovative activities as the Grade 9 Design and Tech class took the lead in organizing a dynamic STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) workshop in partnership with the National Engineering Association of Canada.

The event, held throughout the day on March 21, saw students participate in a series of activities designed to foster their interest and skills in STEM. Half of the event took place in the new Tech Design Lab, Studio 138, officially launched in January. This studio has been equipped with leading-edge technology thanks to UCDSB Real-World Learning partnerships and industry donations, including Wacom tablets and Stratasys 3D printers. This state-of-the-art classroom has been a long-awaited addition to the School, providing students with a dedicated space to explore technology skills and design engineering.

“The goal today was to get students familiar and comfortable with the technology in the studio”, says Design teacher Scott Currie. “Events like these not only spark curiosity but also instill a sense of confidence and passion for exploration. By immersing them in real-world applications of STEM concepts, we empower them to become future innovators, creative problem solvers and truly skilled entrepreneurs.”

Throughout the day, students had the opportunity to familiarize themselves with these resources, gaining hands-on experience with digital drawing and 3D modeling using the Wacom tablets. Additionally, they applied their skills by using 3D print technology, bringing their digital designs to life layer by layer, and were introduced to the possibilities of laser burning, another innovative technique housed within Studio 138.

Grade 9 Design and Tech student Wyatt Thomas led the workshop on 3D modeling. “We’re using a program called Fusion and can design things like screws and bolts, but it’s used to design anything you want,” he explains. Thomas said that 3D modeling is his favourite part of the course.

Classmate Alyssa Buchanan was on the other side of the lab focusing on the digital drawing aspect. “I think the technology in this class is pretty amazing. Considering how small and compact the Wacom tablets are, they’re capable of a lot,” she says.

The Workshop received widespread community support including North Dundas Mayor Tony Fraser in attendance, along with other Township employees and community members to have an inside look at the exciting learning happening inside the walls of NDDHS. Industry partners from Lactalis, Ross Video, and FSI were extremely impressed with the skills that the students can develop at the Secondary level, and they are already planning a variety of ways to partner with their innovative school vision.

The success of the STEM Workshop underscores NDDHS and the Upper Canada District School Board’s commitment to developing the next generation of innovators and leaders in STEM fields, ensuring that students are well-equipped with the skills to thrive in an increasingly technology-driven world.

 

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