2018 Ontario event highlights

National Engineering Month (NEM) is a national celebration of engineering and engineering technology that takes place in March every year. This year, Ontario is celebrating by hosting hundreds of events across the province. These events are staged by volunteers from engineering student and professional communities and are supported by members of Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO), the Ontario Association of Certified Engineering Technicians and Technologists (OACETT), the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers (OSPE), and Engineers Without Borders Canada (EWB). They engage a whole range of audiences from kindergarten students and family groups to college students and retired professionals, all with the aim of raising awareness of the contributions engineering and engineering technology make to everyday life.

You can still join in the celebrations! Reconnect with your profession and sign up to be an event volunteer and help colleagues at an event near you. You could also bring your family to an event, or follow all the action throughout the month on social media using #NEM2018 (@nemontario on Twitter and Instagram, or facebook.com/nemontario).

The following is a partial listing of events planned and hosted by PEO chapters during NEM 2018. Please visit nemontario.ca for an up-to-date event list and further details.

Engineering and Technology Model-Building Competition, March 3, Eastview Secondary School
An interactive day filled with STEM-focused activities and challenges, including a bridge-building and strength-testing competition, a catapult competition, a marshmallow challenge, live engineering quiz and several demonstrations and workshops, including a Raspberry Pi computer demo, a CNC machine demo and AM radio construction.

Bridge-Building and Airplane Propulsion Contests, March 24
Students will compete to determine the strongest bridge made from popsicle sticks that can withstand the maximum load before breakage, with resident engineers explaining how stress and strain acting on the bridges lead to failure. In the airplane propulsion competition, students are given styrofoam airplane kits and instructions on how to tweak the relevant parameters to achieve a maximum flight range—all with the aim of understanding flight mechanics. Contact: Panch YogeswaranP.Eng., 613-962-4386, arjyoges@hotmail.com

2018 Bridge-Building Challenge, March 3, David Suzuki Secondary School
This popsicle stick bridge-building challenge is open to students in grades 5 to 8 from the Halton-Peel and Durham regions. Teams of three students build their bridges according to the rules provided ahead of the event. They present their bridge, along with their research, design process and methodologies to a judging panel consisting of professional engineers. Bridges will be tested to failure, with students watching the results unfold live on a big screen. Prizes are awarded for top presentations and top bridge performance (highest strength-to-weight ratio). Contact: Max Morrow, P.Eng., 905-783-1529, max.morrow@peobrampton.com

Impromptu Design Competition, March 9, Chatham-Kent Secondary School
Teams of students are tasked with building an apparatus to complete a specific task using provided materials. Teams of four students from grades 7 and 8 are invited to participate in the junior division challenge, with groups of four high school students participating in the senior division.

8th Annual Mathletics Competition, March 24, University of Guelph 
Up to 70 students from grades 5 to 8 within the Grand River geographical boundary compete in this four-hour competition. Timed math questions related to engineering are pitched slightly ahead of the students’ curriculum. The objective is to expose the young minds to the world of engineering and encourage them to consider becoming an engineer.

Bay Area Science and Engineering Fair, March 22, Mohawk College David Braley Athletic Centre
The Bay Area Science and Engineering Fair is a competition open to all grades 7 to 12 students from Hamilton, Halton Region, Haldimand County, Norfolk County, Brant County and Six Nations. Further details are available at www.basf.ca. Contact: Robyn Korenic, P.Eng., 905-393-8910, rgkorenic@gmail.com

Engineering Book Explorers, Hamilton Public Library Central Branch
This innovation event will be hosted as part of the Hamilton Public Library Book Explorer Event. Two or three engineering-themed stories will be presented, alongside hands-on activity stations featuring Lego, Quercetti Tech, the MakerCart and a button-making station. Live demos will explain various engineering principles, including pulleys and levels, and volunteer engineers will be available to chat with the youth and parents about engineering and the profession. The first 20 to 25 children will receive a PEO-branded tote bag containing promotional NEM material, library information, activity sheets and a copy of one of the engineering stories that were read. Contact: Robyn KorenicP.Eng., 905-393-8910, rgkorenic@gmail.com

Youth Connect: Super Engineers, March 27, Ryerson United Church
Participants are challenged to test the superpowers of a variety of engineers—including electronic, software and mechanical—in order to escape the clutches of an evil genius! Contact: Robyn KorenicP.Eng., 905-393-8910, rgkorenic@gmail.com

18th Annual Bridge-Busting Competition, March 10
Bridges are made by students and local professionals prior to the event. They are displayed prior to the busting, and students are given the opportunity to discuss their design. Volunteers, alongside university students and professional entrants, will discuss the engineering concepts utilized in bridge-building. Prizes will be awarded to the youth entrants by age category for the strongest bridge, best overall design and best aesthetic. Lego robotics kits will be available for students to use during the event. Contact: Ashley Hosier, P.Eng., 613-453-8466, ashleymhosier@gmail.com

5th Annual K’Nex Bridge-Building Competition, March 17 and 18, Kitchener Museum
Held in the lobby of the Kitchener Museum, this competition is open to all patrons, particularly children under 10 and their guardian. Children are coached by engineering student volunteers on how to build strong structures before building their own bridge out of K’Nex, which will be loaded with eight blocks of bricks. Those entries passing the load test will be entered into a raffle to win K’Nex build sets.

GETSET 2018, March 3, Scouts Southwestern Ontario Service Centre
This annual event explores science and technology with Southwestern Ontario youth through hands-on demonstrations, experiments and competitions.

London Children’s Museum Activities, March 17, London Children’s Museum
Activities are still being confirmed but a button-maker will be onsite for attendees. Contact: Murray MacDonald, P.Eng., 519-859-8723, murray@mmconsulting.ca

Storytelling to Connect, Central Library
Live storytelling events give professional engineers, technologists and students a chance to connect with the public and inspire them with true stories of the incredible work they do. Contact: Matt Carson, P.Eng., 519-701-6220, mcarson@hotmail.ca

Youth Connect: Crazy Contraptions, Central Library
Participants have the opportunity to understand how things move inside a machine and how engineers design processes as they build their own crazy contraption cam toy. Contact: Matt Carson, P.Eng., 519-701-6220, mcarson@hotmail.ca

Bridge-Building Competition 2018, March 24, Tomken Road Middle School
Student teams are challenged to research, design and build a bridge from a supplied kit of popsicle sticks. Following a short presentation of their bridge to a panel of judges made up of engineers, team entries will be tested on a bridge-buster. Bridges will be judged based on strength, design technique, construction quality, creativity and aesthetics. Contact: Syed Saad Ali, EIT, 647-818-7325, syedsaadm.ali@peo-mc.ca

Engineering Everywhere, March 18, East Ferris Community Centre
In this workshop, participants have the opportunity to understand how things move inside a machine and how engineers design processes as they build their own crazy contraption cam toy.

13th North Bay Bridge-Building and Testing Competition, March 23, St Joseph-Scollard Hall Catholic Secondary School
This competition seeks to foster innovation by introducing and discussing the real-life technical issues faced by modern engineers in a manner that complements the curricula being taught in school. The event also allows for one-on-one interaction between students and local engineers in a casual, fun-filled atmosphere. Students from grades 4 to 12 are supplied with six, three-foot lengths of balsa wood and tasked with constructing a bridge to a set criteria. Their bridges are then tested to destruction and rated for craftsmanship, with prizes available for the winning bridges. Contact: John Simmonds, P.Eng., 705-474-4667, john.simmonds11@outlook.com

NEM-PEO Oakville Chapter Event, March 3, Holy Trinity Catholic Secondary School
A fun-filled, day-long event for students in grades 1 to 10 to discover the world of engineering! Volunteers will be showcasing multiple design demonstrations and workshops before students compete in an engineering design challenge to win prizes. Contact: Ming Hu, P.Eng., 224-307-4555, education@peo-oakvillechapter.ca

13th Annual Durham Region Popsicle Stick Bridge Competition, March 24, University of Ontario Institute of Technology
Students from grades 4 to 8 across the Durham Region are invited to build popsicle stick bridges, which are then judged and tested to find the strongest bridge. Contact: Derek Van EeP.Eng., 416-659-2222, dvanee@gmail.com

Mathletics Event, University of Ontario Institute of Technology
This inaugural competition organized by PEO’s Lake Ontario Chapter aims to create passion from the application of mathematics to solve engineering-related problems. The event will promote the engineering profession to a large group of primary and secondary school students. Contact: Fereydoon Diba, 289-600-0251, fereydoon@peolakeontario.ca

Discover Engineering!, museums and malls across Ottawa
Discover Engineering! is an interactive kiosk showcasing various engineering disciplines through hands-on activities and displays. Located in public spaces, the kiosk will engage the community to discover and explore engineering. Contact: Damien Letendre, P.Eng., 613-808-6346, opeo.edu@gmail.com

National Engineering Month Design Challenge, March 6, Evinrude Centre
Students in grades 9 to 12 are tasked with building a small car that uses stored energy to propel itself along a track. Contact: Dan MannsP.Eng., 705-740-5309, daniel.manns@gmail.com

Sault Ste. Marie Engineering Month Event, March 17, Sault Ste. Marie Station Mall
This annual engineering day event includes engineering displays from local businesses, a team math challenge, colouring contests, robotics displays and other exciting, interactive activities. Contact: Michael Paciocco, EIT, 705-949-1033, ext. 206, mcpaciocco@yahoo.ca

Bridge-Building Competition, March 8, Dynamic Earth
This annual bridge-building competition is hosted by Dynamic Earth and open to students in grades 3 to 12. Teachers are encouraged to register their entire class, integrate the competition into their classroom lessons and make a day out of this event.

PEO Sudbury Mall Event, March 17, New Sudbury Centre
The National Engineering Month mall event is an exhibition of engineering in our society. Each year, PEO’s Sudbury Chapter invites engineering companies and relevant organizations to exhibit what engineering is and how to get involved in engineering in a high-traffic area in the New Sudbury Centre. Contact: Ronny TheissP.Eng., 705-207-3390, ronny.theiss@gmail.com

14th Annual Bridge-Building Competition, multiple dates, various schools
Approximately 13 schools within the Upper Canada District School Board and the Thousand Islands Chapter’s boundaries will participate in half-day-long bridge-building competitions to determine which team they put forward for the regional final at the end of the month. With a trophy and other prizes up for grabs, there’s more than school spirit on the line! Contact: John Ireland, P.Eng., 613-283-1788, john@irelands.ca

Innovative Community Development, multiple dates, Lakehead University
Collaborating with local schools, the goal of this event is to support students to come up with creative solutions to problems raised in the local community. Visiting the local Intercity Shopping Centre, the team will invite the general public to share any issues or concerns they have about the community they live in and that engineering might be able to help solve. The team will break down concerns voiced by the public to create problem statements that can be easily understood and take these problem statements to a local high school where they will host a mini competition: teams of students, under the guidance of mentors, will compete to create the best solutions to the issues raised, with the winning ideas presented to the community. The volunteers will also be visiting a local elementary school to show students the workings of a trebuchet and other engineering inventions. Contact: Alex PolyakP.Eng., 204-599-9450, opolyak@lakeheadu.ca

Mall Showcase Event, Intercity Shopping Centre
Generating interest in science and technology, this tabletop event will showcase videos and hands-on activities, including catapults, circuit boards, a Rube Goldberg machine, hydraulics and other science experiments. Contact: Phil RiegleP.Eng., 807-624-5458, philip.riegle@tetratech.com

Student Design Challenge, Nordmin Engineering Ltd.
Student teams are challenged with building, operating and testing a self-powered fan to blow a ping pong ball down a track as far as possible. The team that pushes the ball the farthest wins. Prizes will also be awarded for the most unique and outside-the-box designs. Contact: Phil RiegleP.Eng., 807-624-5458, philip.riegle@tetratech.com

11th Annual Engineering Idol Competition, University of Toronto 
Teams of four to six students from 10 selected high schools participate in a challenging engineering task related to engineering sustainability. Using skills in design and building, this competition gives students the opportunity to create and present a solution to a sustainability challenge outlined in the launch document. It will allow them to consider creative ways of dealing with the challenges associated with GHG reduction, including sustainable energy generation and transportation.

15th Annual Popsicle Stick Bridge-Building Competition, March 4, Scarborough Civic Centre
Teams of two to three students from grades 3 to 8 participate in this popular annual bridge-building competition. Popsicle stick bridges are judged for student presentation, technical explanation, creativity, construction quality, construction technique and aesthetics. Selected teams are invited to explain their project to the audience, outlining their process of development and construction of the bridge. Bridges are then tested to failure, with experienced engineers explaining the probable causes of failures and ways to improve. Results of the load test performance and judges’ marks are projected for the audience alongside a live show of the load testing and rankings as they become available. Contact: Karthiga Thevaseelan, EIT, 647-778-3354, karthiga.thevaseelan@gmail.com

Air-Powered Drag Racer, March 10, Zion Heights Middle School
The cars designed for modern drag racing are marvels of engineering. Engines are designed to deliver maximum power output, while still needing to be lightweight. The bodies need to be extremely aerodynamic, while still protecting the driver in case of an accident. In this event, participants will design and build a drag racer to compete against other teams’ designs. The design requirements, limitations and materials will be provided at the start of the challenge.

Engineering Design Challenge, March 22, Sir William Mulock Secondary School
Teams of four students from grades 7 and 8 are challenged with designing and building an object based on specific requirements, limitations and materials provided at the start of the event. Designs will be judged in three categories: problem solving and design, construction and performance evaluation. Contact: Daniel Cho, EIT, 519-721-1258, daniel.cho@peoyork.com

National Engineering Month STEM Event, S. Walter Stewart Library
Fifty grade-school students and their parents are invited to participate in this hands-on session to learn about electronics circuits by building individual electronics projects using Snap Circuits electronics kits. Volunteers will also be showcasing what engineering is, what it means to be an engineer and the value of continuing STEM in school. Contact: Michael Martin, P.Eng., 647-786-2318, michael.p.w.martin@gmail.com

FIRST Robotics Participation, University of Waterloo
Grand River Chapter volunteers will be on hand at this robotics competition to promote National Engineering Month messaging and talk about the profession and what type of careers exist in technology and engineering.

Innovation Station: Engineering Your Life 2018, March 3, St. Clair College
In addition to technology tours around the St. Clair College laboratories, students will have the opportunity to win prizes in a popsicle stick bridge-building competition, build race cars, try their hand at various science activities, play games on an enlarged chess board and check out the FIRST robotics Canada teams with their robots!