On May 16th, fifteen high school students from across Chicago came to our Bucktown office for a hands-on workshop geared toward the engineering and consulting industry. As part of our DMC Cares initiative, DMC partnered with Chicago Ideas Week to host a STEM inspired lab for their You(th) Ambassador Program. DMC Cares is an internal initiative that encourages DMCers to plan or participate in local charitable events, and we were happy to open our office to CIW You(th) to give them a behind-the-scenes glimpse of DMC.
Our super awesome engineering team came up with four fun-filled activities that gave the students a glimpse into the life of an engineer.
In this class, we introduced students to basic CAD design and how it applies to real-world applications. The students created boxes with their names on them to introduce the concepts of extruding and cutting. At the end of the session we printed the students' boxes using DMC's 3D Printer.
DMC introduced students to the world of electronics and programming through a small exercise with the BBC micro:bit. Students used a graphical programming language to read button presses, show messages on an LED display and even wirelessly send messages to their friends. The functionality implemented in the exercise related to real world products and the type of product development that DMC performs for its customers.
We put a twist on the traditional "Build a Bridge Challenge" to give the students a better idea of what DMC does as consultants. Given limited time, budget, and construction materials, the students we asked to design and deliver a support bridge for a demanding client while trying to mitigate budget increases.
Lego Team Activity
This activity tested the students' abilities to work with others to achieve a common goal. It sounds like an easy test, but challenging obstacles and time constraints made this harder than it seemed for the students.
The students who participated in the workshop had fun and learned about the real world of engineering and consulting at DMC. One of the participants, Javontay Peoples, left with this to say:
"Our trip to DMC was one of the best experiences we have had with CIW. The entire day was planned out very well and each of my peers walked away learning something new. The staff members were awesome and they made us feel right at home as they walked us through the various parts of their work and taught us different skills for the future. I can see why DMC is voted one of the best places to work because once I walked through the door I knew I was gonna have a great time."
We had a wonderful afternoon interacting with the students and hopefully inspiring an interest in STEM fields. Thanks to CIW You(th) for visiting DMC!
To learn more about DMC Cares, check out these articles.