Fostering the Next Generation of Engineers

Related topics: Forecast® · Public Relations
On May 1-2, more than 3,300 seventh grade students from all over northern Utah arrived at Bridgerland Applied Technology College in Logan, Utah for the 2013 Career Days. Career Days is an annual event designed to introduce middle school students to a variety of career paths available in technology and other trade fields and encourage them to start planning early for higher education. Autonomous Solutions, Inc. (ASI) joined with several other technology companies as exhibitors.

"We're always on the lookout for ways we can help our community," said Dru Brown, Marketing Manager at ASI. "Being invited to participate in Career Days was a great opportunity to encourage kids to get advanced education, and we also got to show them how fun technology can be."

Each participating company was encouraged to bring something interactive for students to try out.

ASI brought the Forecast® 3D Laser System, a spinning LIDAR that is normally used for the obstacle detection and avoidance system on autonomous vehicles.

For Career Days, however, Forecast was adapted to scan and generate a 3D map of the exhibit hall. Students enjoyed striking poses in front of Forecast and seeing themselves appear in the 3D output on a video monitor.

"It seems like every time we turn around, we're being reminded that the U.S. is falling behind the rest of the world in STEM education," said Brown.

"U.S. students seem to think that STEM courses are boring or too hard, and a lot of kids shy away from them. But events like this let us show kids the possibilities with this type of education. Hopefully we're getting their imaginations going and getting them excited about engineering."