First-year students from the University of B.C. Okanagan School of Engineering spent the past semester creating fundraising ideas for local non-profit organizations.
It is a mutually beneficial relationship that gives students real-world experience while teaching them that engineering is about being responsible citizens who serve their communities, says Laura Patterson, UBCO engineering school instructor.
“Community organizations have a variety of needs which engineers and their unique skills can be of service.”
Student Carter Merwin says the experience exceeded expectations.
“This opportunity was beneficial as it required real-life problem solving skills in order to help a non-profit organization meet their needs. Further on in our careers, we will be put in similar situations where proposals will need to be won,” he said.
“But what was really exceptional about this project is it allowed first-year engineers the opportunity to help sustain something important to the community.”
Among this year’s participating not-for-profit organizations were:
• The B.C. SPCA
• Okanagan Science Centre
• Community Access Dental Centre.
“Engineering is a profession that holds high respect within the community,” said Patterson.
“The design, communication, research, audience analysis, and business skills that engineers build and develop throughout their careers are invaluable to not-for-profit organizations to solve challenges. And it is an engineer’s obligation to serve humanity and share their skills for the public good.”