MC engineering club advances study, skills

DSCN1377Trebuchets, rockets and golf ball launchers. They all toss things high in the air and the Midland College engineering club aims to see how far, said Alberto Lozano, MC student.

The Midland College engineering club was formed five years ago to help technically minded students an outlet for their design expressions, said Sonia Ford, mathematics assistant and club adviser.

The club started as an informal gathering of students with a common interest in engineering. The club evolved into monthly or bi-monthly meetings, study groups and projects for MC events.

The project for See MC and Science Extravaganza is a trebuchet, Ford said. Past projects have included golf ball launchers and water-powered bottle rockets.

“As club sponsor I help with organization of the meetings at the beginning of the semester and events such as Club Fair, Science Extravaganza, etc.,” Ford said.

“However, the club is what the students make it, and I encourage them to take more of a leadership role after the first one or two meetings of the semester,” Ford added.

The club invites local engineers in from the community to give talks about their experience as an engineer, Ford said. The age and experience of the speakers range from just graduated to having been in the field for years.

MC student Jeremy Salazar, is majoring in mechanical engineering and plans to continue his education at Texas Tech “to take advantage of their great program,” after receiving his associate degree this semester at MC.

“I joined the engineering club to get better tied in with the students who were on the same page as me—or at least in the same chapter—and just take advantage of the study groups, and chance to network with current and aspiring engineers,” he said. “This (club) has worked out great and has helped me to stay on task and encouraged.”

The trebuchet for the MC events is a student-run project, Ford said.

“This semester, a group within the club has taken a leadership role in the design and building of the trebuchet for Science Extravaganza and have done a wonderful job,” Ford said.

“I am excited to see their hard work in action (at Science Extravaganza),” Ford added.

“I am glad to say this is my first trebuchet I ever helped build, and I was glad to work with such focused and motivated people who were also on the project,” Salazar said.

Lozano is also majoring in mechanical engineering, and will be transferring to Texas Tech, he said. A group tour to Texas Tech was a past engineering club activity.

“This is the first time I’m building a trebuchet,” he said. “I am really excited about transferring, although I will miss MC.”

Teamwork is a huge part of engineering club, Lozano said.

“I just have to say that they are a great team and every one gave great efforts in the project,” he said.

“Everyone was very cooperative and it was a great experience to work with all of the members. I hope everyone is successful in their endeavors,” Lozano added.

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