Students in Engineering VOLunteers for Tenth Graders, or EVOL10, began the July 14–19 week with an orientation kick-off that included ice breaker games and a practice version of the ACT math section.
They finished the day with a bonding and team-building visit to Strike & Spare Bowling. Evening downtime throughout the week included a scavenger hunt with a UT traditions theme, a S’mores night, and a catered social dinner.
Students learned about ChemE Cars during the week’s design labs. Gabriel Goenaga, faculty advisor to the UT ChemE Car team, coached them in fine-tuning their designs for these small vehicles powered by the chemical reaction of baking soda and vinegar. Their cars underwent test runs across the engineering courtyard at Ferris Hall, with a final competition on Thursday.
Students also learned strategies for taking the math portion of the ACT in classes led by ACT instructors L. Jeneva Clark and Tabatha Rainwater. They got to try out authentic math ACT questions via gaming platforms like Kahoot!s. The majority of students improved their ACT practice score, some by as much as nine points.
“We also used puzzles that allowed students to decode quotes by modern day heroes,” said Clark. “That was nice because sometimes math doesn’t feel like it has a human quality, but we were able to see the faces of real people, their beliefs, and their stories. I enjoy working with eVOL10 students. They are very driven and determined.”
Students explored options for college majors and engineering careers through Engineering in Action sessions, including hands-on activities and lab tours. Tours of labs such as the MABEline synthetic cadaver, the CURENT visualization room, the Distributed Intelligence Lab, civil engineering’s shake tables, industrial engineering’s factory floor, and more introduce them to various disciplines and helped students visualize themselves studying engineering at UT.
Amy Bielgalski, lecturer in Engineering Fundamentals, introduced students to programming, Arduinos, and led interactive exercises to explore different engineering fields and phenomena.
“I know I grew through the experience,” said participant Katherine Koester. “I am sure others did too.”
The eVOL10 adventure culminated on Friday with a tour of the DENSO Manufacturing facility in Maryville and an awards luncheon in the Student Union ballroom.
Alumnus Terry Olberding delivered the keynote address and students gave testimonials about their week of engineering fundamentals learning, saluted their favorite counselors, and looked ahead toward further engineering education and careers.