Connections: Queen's Engineering Experience Program

Posted on June 11, 2018


By Matt Mills, FEAS communications staff

The world seems to be changing faster than ever before. As it does, the work of the Faculty of Engineering of Applied Science (FEAS) at Queen’s is changing, too. It becomes more obvious with each passing year that we need to invest more heavily and actively in our efforts to connect with our neighbouring communities. It’s also clear that we have a growing role to play in the lives of the young people who will become tomorrow’s leaders in STEM fields. That’s where Connections: Queen’s Engineering Experience Program comes in. 

Connections is a basket of educational outreach programs offered by the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science here at Queen’s. Its mission is fourfold: To provide experiential opportunities for pre-university students to learn about engineering with an additional focus on increasing diversity within the profession. To develop and share quality engineering education tasks that align with the Ontario K-12 curriculum. To provide support and professional development opportunities for educators looking to integrate engineering and 21st Century competencies into their practice. And to develop positive relationships between the FEAS and the Kingston community. 

Connections programs are led by Engineering Outreach Lead, Scott Compeau (BASc ’08, BEd ’11, MSc Ed ’15, PhD Ed student) under the guidance of senior faculty administrators.

“Instead of one-off STEM engagement workshops geared only to fun, we’re grounded in educational theory and content,” says Compeau. “Many of our workshops are designed specifically with direct links to teachers’ lesson plans, assessment protocols, and the learning skills students develop as they move through the public education system.”

“ Many of our workshops are designed specifically with direct links to teachers’ lesson plans, assessment protocols, and the learning skills students develop as they move through the public education system.”

-  Scott Compeau

It’s all about making the most meaningful connections possible, based on research-based knowledge, with children long before they make their decisions about what to do after high-school. And it’s about equipping teachers with the additional knowledge and capacity to use state-of-the-art tools and techniques for teaching STEM education.

Connections visits schools across Eastern Ontario with its new mobile makerspace, the Tech ‘n’ Tinker Trailer, led by Desurée Vandendam (BEd ’12). Once on site, qualified teachers offer students STEM-related programs including coding, robotics, prototyping, and design. Connections also offers free programs in the Kingston area in partnership with local community organizations like the Boys and Girls Club and The City of Kingston. On campus, GoCodeGirl and GoEngGirl are free experiences designed especially for girls with a stated aim of addressing the demographic gender imbalance in STEM fields. Queen’s Summer Engineering Academy (QSEA) is various residential and commuter summer programs for students from Grades 5 to 11. It’s a great way to inform students who may aspire to study engineering what the various disciplines might be like along with a taste of campus life.

Learn more about and register for Connections: Queen’s Engineering Experience Program.

 Scott and Desuree

TRAINED EDUCATORS: Engineering Outreach Lead, Scott Compeau and Outreach Coordinator, Desurée Vandendam tailor our outreach programs to the Ontario curriculum for students and teachers in Eastern Ontario.

Tech 'n' Tinker Trailer Tour from Queen's Engineering on Vimeo.

 

Trailer

MOBILE MAKERSPACE: The Tech ‘n’ Tinker Trailer brings engaging STEM-related activities, like Makey Makey, directly to your school.

 

University

A TASTE OF UNIVERSITY: The Queen’s Summer Engineering Academy (QSEA) is a way for students to get early exposure to what post-secondary engineering education might be like.

 

University

BROAD CHOICES: QSEA students use various facilities at the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science at Queen’s, just as undergraduate engineering students do.