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Future engineers compete in the 2009 NRC Engineering Challenge


March 13, 2009
By Alyssa Dalton


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OTTAWA, Ont. – Elementary school students from Ecole elementaire catholique Arc-en-ciel in Ottawa won first place in this year’s NRC Engineering Challenge, beating out more than 70 classes from Eastern Ontario.

Volunteer engineers from NRC and 13 regional organizations mentored more than 2,000 students in grades 5 through 7. The student teams have been working to solve a real-life problem: how to drop aid supplies from an aircraft to survivors in regions devastated by natural disasters. They simulated this scenario by designing, constructing and testing an innovative engineering prototype to protect an egg (cargo) to be dropped 1.75 metres. The best student teams converged last month at the Canada Museum of Science and Technology in Ottawa to compete for top honours.

“Engaging Canada’s youth in activities that promote science and engineering plays a role in developing the next generation of researchers,” said the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology).

By promoting science to youth, NRC helps support the Government of Canada’s strategy, Mobilizing Science and Technology to Canada’s Advantage, to create a competitive advantage for Canada based on excellence in science and technology.

“NRC is proud to support these young potential engineers by sharing our pool of expertise” said Dr. Pierre Coulombe, NRC president. “By participating in programs such as NRC’s Engineering Challenge, students not only build real-life connections to the benefits of science and technology for our society, but [they] come to realize that science is rewarding and fun.”