Teenagers learn to electrify their future at UC

15 April 2016

It actually is rocket science. High-school students interested in robotics, renewable energy, nanotechnology, rocketry and smart devices get first-hand experience at UC.

Teenagers learn to electrify their future at UC

At the University of Canterbury's E-Week, high-school students have the chance to test-drive UC Engineering's electric go-karts. One student navigates an obstacle course while the co-pilot tries to produce a drawing. To win, students need a fast track time and a steady hand.

It actually is rocket science. High-school students interested in robotics, renewable energy, nanotechnology, rocketry, and how to design the next generation of smart devices, are getting first-hand experience in all these at the University of Canterbury.

A week-long camp, E-Week provides a unique opportunity for curious young minds to get hands-on lab experience, visit local companies, program a robot and build a lab-on-a-chip.

E-Week, from 17-22 April, is a chance for New Zealand students in Year 12 or 13 to be hosted by the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Canterbury (UC) in Christchurch for a taste of university life. 

Electrical and Computer Engineering Professor Phil Bones with the assistance of several colleagues  is running the annual E-Week where students can witness a rocket launch from the UC Rocketry programme, participate in learning activities in specialist teaching and research laboratories and enjoy social activities with like-minded peers. 

“Only fifteen students were selected from around New Zealand to attend this event, so it is quite an accomplishment to be selected,” Prof Bones says. 

The school pupils were selected based on academic merit, the subjects they are currently studying, their interest in engineering as a career and a teacher recommendation.

“These students will have the opportunity to work in our labs, where they build a ‘lab-on-a-chip’, construct and program a small light-following robot, learn about electric vehicles and view demos in our unique High Voltage lab. They will also view a rocket launch from our UC Rocketry programme.”

As well as taking part in electronics, robotics, nanotechnology and electric power engineering activities, the teenagers will tour Christchurch, enjoying recreational and social activities, and stay in UC Halls of Residence to gain that real “UC student experience”.

Prof Bones says the breadth of opportunities and career pathways available to those who study electrical engineering are often eye-opening for the students.

“They get to see some recent graduates in their workplaces.  We ran similar events in 2013, 2014 and 2015, and they have all been very successful,” he says.

Details and video of previous years’ events found here: www.elec.canterbury.ac.nz/eweek

For further information please contact:
Margaret Agnew
Senior External Relations Advisor
Communications and Engagement
University of Canterbury
Ph: (03) 364 2775
Mobile: 027 5030 168

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