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Regional high schools, middle schools compete in design competition as Engineers Week concludes

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Design competition test run

Students and judges look on as teams test their launching pads during the Engineers Week Design Competition at the Memorial Student Union Building ballrooms Friday, February 23, 2024.

KINGSVILLE (February 23, 2024) — Competition and collaboration was the theme as the Frank H. Dotterweich College of Engineering at Texas A&M University-Kingsville concluded its annual Engineers Week celebration with a design competition featuring high school and middle school students Friday at the Memorial Student Union Building ballrooms.

More than 170 students from various regional schools were tasked with creating a small car and a launching station using only the materials and guidelines provided to them.

For Dean of the College of Engineering Dr. Heidi Taboada said the competition was a fitting end to an exciting week for the college.

“We had an amazing week and we held a lot of different activities since Monday,” she said. “This is an excellent way to wrap up Engineers Week for us. This is Engineers Week 2024 and we have grown so much. We had more than 170 students here and even had some from San Antonio. We are so excited and the design competition is usually the highlight of this week and we’re excited have had this response.”

Though the contest guidelines and materials were limited, students were given colored plastic chips to buy additional materials such as extra wheels, tape, rocks and more as teams prepared their projects for a measured launch attempt.

Each attempt was judged by distance and project creativity and judges on-hand scored each team and declared two middle school and high school winners.

“The car was not the main component of the contest, it’s was the launching station,” Taboada explained. “They needed to make sure the car was blasted off by one propellant. It was a little hard to assemble as they had limited materials, but it was all about creativity, teamwork and working together. Those were the challenges they had to face today and they all did amazing.”

On the middle school side, Tuloso-Midway Middle School Team 1 was awarded first place, followed by Taft’s Trevino Junior High Team 2 in second.

Alice High School Team 1 took first place in the high school division, while Team 2 from Corpus Christi’s School of Science and Technology placed second.

“I believe it’s important for the students to experience hands-on activities,” Taboada said. “They need to be exposed to what being an engineer on a daily basis looks like. This is what engineering is all about. It is about working together and working hard just to solve a problem. This experience today is exactly what we experience once we are outside of a school setting.”


Category: Engineering

Photo of Mark Molina

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