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Engineering Tomorrow Conference a Hit With Students

January 31, 2018

Over 75 students from three area Catholic high schools, came together on Wednesday, January 31st for the Engineering Tomorrow Conference held at Our Lady of Lourdes High School. This is the second year in a row that Lourdes hosted this conference.

Founded in December 2014 by Bill Woodburn, Engineering Tomorrow’s mission ( is to introduce high school students, particularly female and minorities to the field of engineering. The agenda for the day, which involved students from Our Lady of Lourdes, John A. Coleman and John S. Burke High Schools, included short presentations and then students were divided into 2 groups to perform different experiments.  This conference concentrated on Wind Turbine, which utilized an iterative process and 3D Printing.  All groups had the opportunity to work on both experiments.

Michael Legg, Executive Director of Engineering Tomorrow discussed that they have boosted their curriculum in the past year to include different experiments that they rotate amongst the conferences that can include Robotics, Wind Power, Solar, Civil Engineering, Computer Science or Water Reuse and Desalination.

Wednesday’s program was run completely by engineers who volunteer their time to participate.  Erik Einset and Jim McHale of Global Infrastructure Partners and Tuknekah Noble of GE ran Wednesday’s program with the help of additional student volunteers from Manhattan College and the University of Delaware.  During the lunch break, the engineering students provided some discussion on their paths and answered questions from the groups.  “We find the students benefit greatly hearing from college students closer to their age,” remarked Legg.  “We are thrilled these students can be here to share their experiences with them.”

Summing up the day, Lourdes students Jacob Cerdena and Kayleigh Goebelbecker, who both plan to study biomedical engineering in college were thrilled with the day, remarking “It was very worthwhile and a lot of fun.!” Cerdena went on to say, “I did not realize I had an interest in this type of work until today.”  Goebelbecker commented, “Today was great, and I am really happy to have had this opportunity to participate.”

All agreed that they liked that most of the day involved “hands-on” activities.  It really gave them a chance to engage and learn about what was happening in the experiments.

Sophomore, Jan Anthony stated, “I really enjoyed the experiments and activities. Right now I am trying to figure out if I will study chemical or biomedical engineering in the future and this type of experience helps a lot.”  Junior, Alex Giangrasso was in agreement with the whole day and mentioned, “This experience really opened my eyes to the profession.”