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Hey kids! The mayor thinks you should follow in his footsteps

To start, you're going to want to get your hands on some Popsicle sticks

Timmins Mayor Steve Black, himself an engineer, declared March to be Engineering Month in Timmins, and he encouraged students to consider engineering to be a career of choice – one that touches on many areas in our lives.

“The world is getting complicated and we need to keep engineers to help with finding solutions for making our world safer and better,” Mayor Black who signed the proclamation making March Engineering Month in Timmins.

“It’s a great career to enter,” said Mayor Black.

On hand to receive the proclamation from Mayor Black were Corey Goulet, the president of the Timmins Chapter of the Professional Engineers of Ontario; and Tony Linton, manager of technical services for Dumas Mining.

Goulet pointed out that March is also National Engineering Month in Canada

“The purpose for holding Engineering Month in Canada and in Timmins is two-fold,” Goulet said. “Not only do we celebrate the achievements of our engineering profession, but it is an opportunity for us to reach out to young students in Canada about the opportunities in engineering, as well as promoting the field of engineering to young Canadians in schools.”

“We do so by promoting engineering within school systems or by collaborating with local groups like ICE (Independent Consulting Engineers) in Timmins,” he added.

Groups like the PEO and ICE also hold competitions within schools to engage student and attract them to an engineering profession.

“One of the favourite ones is the bridge competitions that we hold every year,” said Linton of Dumas a Timmins based mining supplier whose services include mine construction and engineering. “We will go into schools and we actually go into Grade 5 classes and the students will actually build bridges out of Popsicle sticks that are designed to a specific standard.”

“We actually test how much these Popsicle stick- bridges will hold, and some of them can hold as much as 100 pounds,” said Linton. “It was amazing how these kids got those Popsicle sticks to stick together so well to be able to bear over 100 pounds of weight.”

Other educational events have been held at Timmins Square where passers by can construct paper airplanes to see who can fly the longest.

“We have different designs that the kids can use to construct their paper airplane,” explained Linton.

“These activities will get kids excited about engineering,” explained Linton.

One of the things about engineering Linton pointed out is that we know engineering is working when no one is talking about it.”

“Every thing from heating and ventilation systems in homes to cars running on the road; there are so many things, that once you turn on that key - you do not know what the computer is doing in the background,” Linton explained. “You need engineering to help the mechanics work properly on the car. ABS brakes, airbags that is all engineering.”

The local chapters of Professional Engineers of Ontario go into the schools and talk about entering the profession, but they also have a scholarship program for high school students

“Through an application process, the teachers in Timmins select two students in their graduating year as winners of a very good scholarship for students interested in engineering,” said Goulet. “Timmins students should apply for it."

Students considering a career in engineering should be reassured that there is always going to be a demand for engineers, not only in Canada but around the world, said Black.

“There is always a need for engineers,” he said, pointing out because there are so many different branches of engineering and major improvements to our society relating to safety, efficiency, even climate change requires engineered solutions.

“Certain branches of the engineering community will always have a need for new entrants into the profession, while others may be more saturated," said Black. “As in other professions there are waves of high needs when many retire and periods where some sections do not require as many.”

“However, since there are so many branches of engineering one of them, whether it be mechanical engineering, structural, mining or civil - there will always be a need with in the profession,” Black added.

Goulet also praised the efforts of Science Village in Timmins as a tremendous way to explore engineering.

“It’s a great place to go and explore the world of engineers and build things out of the material provided," said Goulet

“We spend time volunteering to help out,” and try to cooperate on organizing activities for the kids.

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