Grade 9 Alix-MAC students learned about the world of engineering technology during an Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta (ASET) Camp.  

During the camp, students learned how to work with a level management and control system, completed electrical and pneumatic connections, and configured an industrial pressure transmitter.   

They also created a weather station, undertook a level measurement activity, and were given the opportunity to use a remote sensing technology familiar to engineering technologists.  

Alix students work during the Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta STEM camp.Grade 9 Alix-MAC students work on projects during the Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta STEM Camp.
Photo provided by ASET.

“The idea is to expose young people in high school and junior high to science, technology, engineering, and math, and particularly the potential for careers in science and engineering technology,” said Barry Cavanaugh CEO of ASET.  

The camp is designed to bring awareness to engineering technology as a potential profession.   

“It's an eye-opener for a lot of people. They simply have an interest in science or math, and it's never occurred to them that this is a career possibility,” Cavanaugh said. “So now we're giving them the opportunity to think about it.”  

He explained that polytechnic institutes and colleges typically offer two-to-three-year engineering technology programs.  

“They're very compressed programs, very technical and very specialized,” Cavanaugh said. “It's fair to say that engineering technology represents 21 engineering technology disciplines which are broadly similar to engineering disciplines, but more focused.”  

Career avenues in engineering technology include civil technology, including building roads and bridges, and construction technology including water and wastewater works and power.   

“They're in everything, and around you all day, every day. The work of technologists is supporting the entire society,” Cavanaugh said. “They make it work. Sometimes they're engaged in design, but more often than not, they're engaged in making design reality, and that's an important distinction.”  

Through the camp, Cavanaugh is hopeful that students will be inspired to explore the different career paths in engineering technology.   

“Albertans can be really proud of the programs that are available at the polytechnics and colleges and the opportunities there are for young people,” Cavanaugh said. “The opportunities are boundless. It's a great career.”