Caledonian College of Engineering (CCE) has successfully concluded a three-week summer school programme for school leavers at the college’s Al Hail campus. Offered as part of the college’s CSR, and as a gesture of goodwill towards the local community, this is the second year that summer school has been conducted for students in the Al-Hail and Seeb area.
Building upon last year’s success, this year’s Caledonian Summer School maintained an attendance of up to forty students each day, attracted by the engaging soft skill activities and the opportunity to engage with the college’s engineering staff. The principal aim of the programme was to give students a feeling for college life and a broad idea of the different engineering disciplines that they can study at CCE or similar tertiary institutions.
The forty-five hour programme gave students three hours a day of practical and theoretical activities with learning revolving around seminars, workshops and practical lab sessions. Students focused on a different engineering theme in each of the three weeks (revolving around fossil fuels, solar energy and infrastructure development) and participated in educational outings that helped to illustrate some of the concepts introduced in the classroom. Students also discussed the key concepts in debates, gave presentations on the weekly theme and had fun answering a theme-related quiz. In lab sessions, students undertook various projects that brought the theme to life, such as attempting to power a rice cooker through solar power and dismantled and reassembled hardware. In the design lab, they used AutoCAD to design an environmentally-friendly house.
A total of 28 students successfully completed the course, each receiving a completion certificate. At the certificate-giving event, attended by Jenny Walker, Associate Dean for Professional Development, some students commented favourably on their experience: “It helped me be creative” one student said. Another gave an end-of-course speech in which she stated that she wanted to change her tertiary studies from medicine to chemical engineering in light of the new knowledge she had acquired during Caledonian Summer School and what she had learnt about herself during the programme. All students agreed they had learned something new.
Ms Walker congratulated both students and staff for working hard to make the programme worthwhile: “Choosing whether to go to college and deciding which degree to take, these are two of the most important decisions of your lives” she said at the closing ceremony. “If Caledonian College has helped you come to the right decision, then the purpose of this summer school is fulfilled.”
Caledonian Summer School is offered free of charge each year to school leavers who have an inclination towards science and who wish to explore the enrolment options open to them. They are free to familiarise themselves with the college’s portfolio of courses but the programme has a wider remit of helping students learn about engineering in general and gives them an idea of what a career in this field entails.
The summer school is one of many ways in which CCE benefits the local community. Other CSR initiatives organised by the college include various green enterprises, Outward Bound activities, an annual Charity Fair, blood donation events, and large-scale public awareness campaigns. The summer school, providing fun, educational experiences for school leavers is now set to become an annual event.