Terrace, BC – Coast Mountain College (CMTN) students in the Engineering Certificate Program wrapped up their courses earlier this month with an automated-claw competition.
Two groups of students designed, programmed, and built an automated claw that would close around an object as it approached the floor and could transport the object over a makeshift wall.
“The teams needed to design and program the electronic components, and design and fabricate the physical components,” explains Stuart Toop, engineering course instructor. At least one part needed to be 3-D printed, another to be cut with a CNC plasma cutter, and yet another to be fabricated from sheet metal using hand tools.
“The overall purpose of the project was to highlight the formal design process and work in a multidisciplinary team,” says Stuart.
The grade assigned to each claw was based on innovation and reliability of design and components, and craftsmanship in fabrication.
Students in the class expressed that this was among their favourite projects of the whole year.
“[This project] made me see how much I love engineering and how much I love what I want to do,” says student David Emelu. “This is one of the most interesting projects I’ve had so far.”
Classmate Owen Block adds, “I’ve always wanted to use a 3-D printer but never did…the practical side of engineering is good to have in mind when designing things.”
In the fall, many of the CMTN Engineering students will pack their bags to pursue the rest of their engineering degrees at various universities in BC.
Students Owen Block, Nevan Miller, and David Emelu will enter their second year of a Mechanical or Electrical Engineering Degree at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver Island University, and the University of Victoria, respectively.
On reflection, all three students said they believe their time at CMTN was valuable, and has set them up for success in the next stage of their educational journey. They cited small classes, one-on-one support from instructors, and affordable program costs as factors in the decision to do their first year at CMTN.
“The instructors are the highlight of my stay here,” says David, who came to Terrace from Nigeria. “[Physics instructor] Regan Sibbald was really helpful and looked out for us. He made sure we succeeded in what we were doing, and then explored different opportunities with us.”
Although entering into a STEM-based (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) field can feel daunting for high schoolers, these students at CMTN believe that with commitment, dedication, and a little help from instructors, everyone can be successful.
“I would definitely recommend a place like Coast Mountain College to come for your first year and kind of feel it out to see what the college or university experience will demand of you,” says Nevan Miller.
Learn more about CMTN’s Engineering Certificate program HERE.
Executive Director, External Relations