Experiential Learning Sets Path for Students at Tech Fair
As Centennial College moved up to the 8th spot among the Top 10 Canadian Research Colleges, Centennial students continue to drive innovation with their research projects. This was put on full display at the 7th annual Technology Fair and Hiring event on April 18th at the Progress Campus Event Centre. The yearly event is organized by the School of Engineering Technology and Applied Science (SETAS)
At the Fair, SETAS students exhibit their capstone projects; a semester-long project that demonstrates what the students have learned and put it into practice. The capstone projects on display filled a wide spectrum of ideas from a laser cutter, to an automated package sorting machine, to a wirelessly controlled autonomous vehicle.
The event also served a great networking opportunity for the students, as many potential employers were on hand at the fair. Companies such as: Ceridian, Manpower, Symtech Innovations, Westbury National, and many others observed the capstone projects and spoke to the students.
SETAS students developing capstone projects have had different learning experiences that helped them along the way. Many students took advantage of opportunities at the Applied research, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Services (ARIES) as student researchers and developers, which helped them getting started with their own projects.
Peter Jermolow originally worked on an ARIES research grant called ‘Bike to Light’ where he had designed a generator that would produce electricity to the front wheel of a bicycle meant for the developing world. This inspired him to develop his ARIES-supported research idea ultimately resulting in a capstone project called “Wind Tracker”, a wind turbine generator that can alter its height to receive the ideal wind speed. “The Wind Tracker is based on the fact that the higher you go, the faster the wind speed” explained Jermolow “Wind generators are only efficient at a very specific wind speed so this idea is to adjust the height of the turbine in order to maximize the power output from the generator.”
A group of students in attendance showcasing their capstone projects have also worked with Wearable, Interactive, Mobile, Technologies Access Centre in Health (WIMTACH). Edward Song and Thiago de Catilho worked as API Developers this past year and have completed a mobile video game for their capstone project, titled, “The Abyss”. The videogame is a ‘hack and slash’ game where the player controls a female protagonist as she navigates her way through a graveyard, battling enemies as she progresses. “With this game what we tried to do is take the players through a visually appealing and entertaining experience” described Song. “The player plays a girl who wakes up in a different universe and battles through waves of demons. We based the idea on the adversity that we face in real life, and the perseverance that human beings have shown to overcome these adversities.”
A lot of what students are implementing into their capstone projects are developed or grown through experiential learning. Providing experiential learning allows students to solve real problems themselves then identify and develop solutions. The skills they learn as researchers and developers help students gain essential skills that will support them as they build their careers.Based on what this group of students was able to achieve, the benchmark has been set for future student researchers and developers. SETAS, as well as ARIES and WIMTACH will continue to act as a vehicle for experiential learning where students can hone their abilities and craft their ideas.