February 01, 2021 | Written by: Sensia
At Sensia, we are dedicated to investing in the development of the next generation of engineers. Our future workforce can be found in our schools today. With that in mind, we sent a team to support the Duncan Area Economic Development Foundation (DAEDF) Sponsored CO2 Youth Engineering Car Race. This annual event runs throughout the school year and this year culminated with a thrilling race on 17 November 2020.
This exciting challenge is open to middle and high school students in the Red River Technology Center area. It includes schools from the cities and towns of Duncan, Central, Marlow, Bray, Velma-Alma, Empire City, Comanche, Waurika, Ryan, Temple and Walters. It is accessed through the school STEM and science programs, but is also open to home school students, so no one misses out on this amazing opportunity.
Our expert team consisted of Lane Barby, Manufacturing Engineering Manager; Eric McGhghy, Engineering & Quality Manager; Danny McFarland, Project Coordinator; and Patrick Brian Johnson, IE Technician, working alongside representatives from the Duncan Area Economic Development Foundation.
Our team used their skills to mentor the students throughout the school year, helping them to design and build their cars. Then they had the unenviable task of judging and choosing the winners on race day.
The competition is designed to encourage students from all walks of life to take an active interest in science, technology, engineering, and math in a way that is relevant to the workplace and, more importantly, to be fun! Competitors also have the chance to win one of several cash prizes. Hundreds of students look forward to this event and participate every year. It gives them a chance to design and build their own race cars from start to finish.
It teaches them many skills required for the workplace: critical thinking, planning, design, teamwork, as well as designing and manufacturing their very own CO2 race car.
These talented youngsters certainly rise to the challenge, year after year – how wonderful it would be to see some of them start their careers at Sensia one day.
The judging criteria set for our Sensia mentors is detailed, and the students are judged on drafting and design, assembly and finishing, dimensional check and, finally, race scores.
All the cars are displayed before the race begins so the students can choose their own favorite for the ‘People’s Choice’ award.
Students win cash prizes for coming 1st, 2nd or 3rd in the following categories:
Project Co-ordinator and Sensia Mentor Danny McFarland comments, ‘This is a fantastic challenge enabling students to have a taste of engineering with a purpose. I feel honored to have mentored so many talented youngsters, their enthusiasm and creativity was a joy to be involved with. It wasn’t an easy task, but they rose to the challenge and I look forward to seeing their achievements in the future. I am glad Sensia chose me to be part of this.’
And what did the students think?
‘This challenge is awesome, it was great having Danny, my dad, to help me with my ideas, especially when I was trying to put my thoughts and plans into actually building the car. He was very encouraging, and I am proud of the car I designed. I definitely want to be in this competition next year.’ Andy
‘I appreciate all the mentor volunteers for making sure our cars were race-ready and encouraging us to continue on with these types of projects. I learned a lot and looking forward to next year’s competition.’ Brodie
Many thanks to our team of mentors – we know they got as much out of this program as the students.
If you’d like to see a video of the day head over to https://youtu.be/3njeeTaQkpI
Pictured from left to right: Nicole Punneo and Lyle Roggow, who represent Duncan Area Economic Development Foundation; Lane Barby, Eric McGhghy, Danny McFarland, and Patrick Brian Johnson, representing Sensia.