UBC’s annual Engineering Without Borders (EWB) Youth Venture. Competition – 2023 January 27-29
This year, I was given the chance to participate in UBC’s annual Engineering Without Borders (EWB) youth venture. The competition gives high school students the opportunity to be introduced to the field of engineering and the design process while also thinking critically about current world issues. This year’s topic was on pediatric assistive technologies and how they could be used to benefit children with disabilities.
For the competition, our group was tasked with designing a ball launcher that would allow children suffering from Duchenne muscular dystrophy to participate in physical activities involving small or medium-sized balls. Our solution was to create an air-pressure-powered launcher that was both lightweight and easy to use. The greatest difficulty we had as a group was the amount of time we had for each section of the competition. Since we were on a time crunch, we had to finish both the prototype and presentation quickly. The best part about the competition was overcoming obstacles and creating something new with a small group of people that were from JKCS.
I have always had a passion for mathematics and problem-solving but never considered engineering as a possible career path. After hearing about this competition, I was eager to learn about the engineering design process and how math can be utilized. Many of the questions and doubts I had about the engineering programs offered at UBC were answered after visiting the campus. Through the design process and presentation, I conquered my fear of presenting in front of a large audience. Overall, I found this experience extremely valuable, and I hope to participate again in the future.
By Spencer L. 11A