Tech department offers first-ever engineering design contest

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The engineering design competition poster that has been posted around the school. Submitted photo.

Novalea Verno, Editor

Are you interested in engineering? Have a passion for product design? Interested in learning more about 3D printers? If any of these sounds like you, then consider applying for the CYHS tech department’s first-ever engineering design competition. Students who join have the chance to win cash prizes and show off their “mad designing” skills.

The prompt for the competition is to design a product that will help users reduce the spread of and prevent catching viruses. The product should be safe and easy to use. It should be produced by a 3D printer and designed by approved CAD software. The individual parts shouldn’t exceed 7.5” x 9.5” x 7.5”.

Throughout the creation process, judges are expecting students to document their undertaking of this task. Creating an e-portfolio, website or presentation are suggested methods for documenting. Students should make sure their design includes briefs, concept sketches, design sketches, CAD files, STL field, 3D printed prototypes and feedback from users and/or professionals in a related field.

Everyone participating is expected to work on this project on their own time. All submissions, presentations and ceremonies will be done at the high school.

The idea for this contest came from a former Central parent. Sean O’Neill is the Executive Vice President of St. Onge Supply Chain Engineering of York. His son, Patrick O’Neill, was heavily involved in the engineering classes and left Central feeling very prepared for his ascent into the world of engineering.

“…Mr. O’Neil was distraught that so few students are taking advantage of the courses we offer. [We} began brainstorming how to gain interest and overpower the misconception among students that our classes are “too hard” (which they’re not)…. [O’Neill] believed so much in our program that he wrote a check for $500 to fund the award(s),” said Sean Blasetti, a technology education teacher at Central who partnered with O’Neill to create this contest.

“Our goal with the contest was to create more awareness for engineering and innovation as a career path…. A contest is a great format to engage anyone that has an interest or an idea.  I would challenge everyone [to] participate, we are all innovators and we need new ideas to combat COVID,” said O’Neill.

The lucky student who wins first place will receive $400. The second-place winner will receive $100. Everyone else will get the chance to put this experience on a resume. Students thinking about pursuing a career related to product design or engineering decisions should recognize the advantage of having a contest like this under their belt.

This opportunity is open to anyone in high school. No previous experience is needed to join.

The initial sign-up deadline was on Oct. 22, but Blasetti is open to meeting with students to discuss late entries. Students who sign up will be expected to attend an info meeting on Nov. 5. Submissions will be due by Jan. 8, 2021 and presentations will be scheduled the following week. Winners will be announced the week of Jan. 18-22, 2021. To sign up for this contest, check out the email from Dr. Czarnecki for the link to register. If you have any questions about the contest reach out to Blasetti in room 602.