While most UofSC students were away during spring break, the College of Engineering and Computing, and S.C. Project Lead the Way (PLTW), hosted a competition for middle and high school students March 6-7 at the Swearingen Engineering Center on the university's main campus.
Teams from 28 schools competed in a contest that was completely student-led – without help from their teachers or mentors. Each day the teams were given a challenge and had to create an engineering solution within just a few hours. Examples included how to build an airplane prototype or even a custom robot that could pick-up objects.
“These events are so much fun for the kids who get hands-on experience in problem solving through engineering and technology,” said Krystal DuBose, PLTW affiliate director at the college. “We tell them that engineering is everywhere and demonstrate how engineering affects their lives. By competing with their peers they get really excited about the process.”
The team projects were judged by professional engineers, engineering students and faculty of the college. FLUOR, a leading engineering construction company in SC, sponsored the events.
Trophies were conferred on the winning teams at both Swearingen and at Williams Brice Stadium on campus.
The USC affiliation with PLTW launched in 2002. It is a national nonprofit that offers
science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) learning experiences for K-12 students
and teachers that include hands-on activities, projects and complex problem solving.
As the S.C. affiliate for Project Lead the Way, the college provides participating
teachers with the education and training needed to implement the learning programs.
These events are so much fun for the kids who get hands-on experience in problem solving through engineering and technology.
Krystal DuBose, Project Lead the Way affiliate director