UMaine Expo Sparks Interest in Engineering 

Many people might find the life applications of engineering to be a little shocking.

“America’s really become such a consumerist society and there’s a lot of people that use this really complicated technology,” says Blake Bourque, an electrical and computer engineering student.  “You ask them ‘How’s your toaster work? Most people are like, ‘You put toast in it you get toast out.’ Well there’s a lot of electronics that goes into making it so your toast is just the right amount of toasted.”

The Engineering Expo in Maine is working to change such a phenomenon.

“This is an annual event that strives to raise awareness about engineering with people of all ages and its really an event that sparks the interest of young people to get interested in engineering for the first time,” says Victoria Wingo, Executive Director at the Expo.

Many exhibits actually targeted the younger crowd.

“I’m helping out with the bioengineering table to kind of get kids interested in the sciences, says Haylea Ledoux, a bioengineering student.  “We’re making slime. That’s just kind of like a fun and messy project.”

“Engineering and biological sciences right now are really an upcoming field in the world today anyway so it’s really important for the kids to be interested in it so they can take part in all the different changes coming up in the world.”

Kids were able to experience the gamete of engineering paths at the Expo.

“They get turned on to the idea that they’ve never thought about and often in our life we don’t know what’s out there until we’re exposed to it.”

And such exposure allows children and students to explore the engineering community.

“Expos like these are really great for the community so that high school and middle school students can see and show each other the different things they’re working on.  It’s not just about sports these days -there’s so much more that kids can do when they’re at school.”