ENGINEERING EVENT: Students get hands-on lessons

Published 10:25 am Friday, April 19, 2019

A group of Covington County Schools students who scored well on an optional math assessment spent a good part of the past week sharpening the skills they’d need to become engineers as part of the system’s second annual engineering event.

Curriculum coordinator Nikki Guilford said one of the goals for the event was to expose students to the opportunities in engineering.

“That field is enormous,” she said. “It crosses so many different spectrums.”

Yet, most people think engineers spend most of their days behind a desk, solving problems.

“In reality, most of their time is in the field and networking,” Guilford said. 

System-wide, students were given the opportunity to take a special math test to earn the opportunity to participate in the engineering event.

“The participants were chosen based on their scores,’ she said. “They came last week and got some field experience, going to the job site and learning about the different scenarios. In the afternoon, they had time to meet, and a week to put together a presentation.”

For instance, the students assigned to work with Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood took a trip to the South Alabama Regional Airport where they looked at a proposed runway safety project. Working in pairs, they then developed names for their engineering firms, put together project proposals, and pitched them to the GMC engineers and to SARA’s Jed Blackwell.

GMC’s Al  Allenback said all of the students’ presentations were impressive.

“They all had super attitudes,” he said.

Others working with students included PowerSouth, CDG Engineering, Southeast Gas, County Engineer Lynn Ralls, Wyatt Sasser Construction, Arclin, and Southern Engineering Solutions. Two groups participated in county-sponsored 3D printing projects and robotics.