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August 21, 2013 3:59 PM

Students display projects at Tech Showcase

Conestoga students displayed their year-end projects at the bi-annual Tech Showcase at Conestoga's Engineering and Information Technology campus on August 13.

This event provided students with the opportunity to share the results of their projects with industry experts and peers, and demonstrate what they have learned in their programs. Projects ranged from websites designed for local businesses to complex hydraulic boat lifts, complete with blueprints and conceptual prototypes.

Also on display were two robotics projects, including a robot designed by Conestoga students to cut out hard plastic car parts which are then used on Toyota and Ford automobiles. Their robot is able to complete the function in a fraction of the time it takes existing manufacturing robots to cut out the same parts.

Faculty member John Tielemans, who led students in the development of the robotics project, said the Tech Showcase is an opportunity for the community to visit and see how much Conestoga students can accomplish.

"From the students’ perspectives, the pressure of having the work ready for a live audience, not just teachers, with a fixed deadline is a powerful motivator to strive for excellence."

According to Tielemans, this type of work also prepares students for entering the job market.

"It’s no less important or rigorous than the work they will do after graduation," he said. "Having accomplished this here, our graduates step into their careers with confidence and many find themselves adapting to the demands of the workplace with ease."

During the event, student projects were reviewed by faculty and industry professionals for the coveted Mastercraft Award. Established by former Conestoga President Kenneth E. Hunter, this award recognizes outstanding technical achievement by an individual or a student team in the creation of a program-related technical project. The prize consists of an inscribed and framed program shield, plus a cheque for $500. The winners will be announced at fall convocation on November 1.

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