Conestoga news

March 25, 2022 9:21 AM

Engineering students highlight project-based learning

On March 15, students and faculty in Conestoga’s School of Engineering & Technology hosted an informative event highlighting project-based learning that puts theory to practice. The session was part of more than 40 free events held across Ontario to celebrate National Engineering Month. 

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MSE students Thomas Radman (L) and Matthew Armstrong (R) discussed project-based learning at a National Engineering Month event on March 15.

“One of the biggest challenges I hear from engineering employers is that of all the engineering graduates that they interview, they all have a deep understanding of engineering theory needed to do their jobs, but actual few have the practical application of theory needed to be job-ready,” said Sandro Peruzza, CEO of the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers in his opening remarks. “When you hear about the engineering job gap, this is what they’re talking about. I think Conestoga has done a great job at closing that gap with their unique approach to project-based learning.”

Fourth-year Bachelor of Engineering - Mechanical Systems Engineering (MSE) students Matthew Armstrong and Thomas Radman led the discussion, highlighting projects, co-op work terms and extracurricular activities that help prepare for success.

“Project-based learning is a system where all the course topics are combined into one large project,” said Radman. “It gives students that long-term engagement with the content to be able to solve complex problems.”

Throughout each term, students work in teams exploring real-world problems and challenges by applying theory to gain deeper understanding. Projects in the MSE program have included building robotic arms and double inverted pendulums.

“There’s a lot of depth to all these projects and the work that goes into them,” Radman continued. “There are also other areas that students have opportunities to gain skills and apply them outside the classroom, and based in project-based learning, it really helps build that foundation.” 

In addition to curriculum that offers hands-on learning and co-op work terms that provide valuable real-world experience, students also have access to extracurricular activities that support development. Design teams, including mini Baja, formula electric and concrete toboggan, as well as various clubs and societies, provide Conestoga engineering and technology students with a well-rounded and solid foundation to build skills. Both Armstrong and Radman serve on the executive team of the Conestoga Engineering Society and were also part of a design team that placed first at the Ontario Engineering Competition in January.   

The full presentation can be viewed online.

Celebrated annually during March, NEM showcases engineering excellence in Canada to strengthen bonds within the profession and society. Events are organized and led by volunteers to support lifelong learning and encourage youth to explore engineering career possibilities.

The School of Engineering & Technology offers a comprehensive suite of programs with a wide range of credentials. Conestoga is the only college in Ontario to offer fully accredited engineering degrees. Programs feature project-based learning, co-op work experience and applied research opportunities to prepare graduates for success in their chosen fields.