A group of Dublin Scioto High School students got some on-the-job experience last week as they surveyed land between the district's central office and tech house.
An architectural engineering class of Scioto sophomores, juniors and seniors measured the lay of the land for a project that will give them a real world look at engineering careers and their applications.
For the project, the students must figure out a way to cross a ditch and can use solutions from zip lines to bridges.
"It's really open-ended right now," Engineering Teacher Jim Roscoe said.
"They're looking for ideas," he said.
"There's a path from the central office to the tech house and they have to devise a way to cross the ditch," Roscoe said.
Details are still being worked out, but district STEM Initiatives Manager Kimberly Clavin plans to apply for a grant to build the winning project.
"This year is a feasibility and cost study," Clavin said.
"Next year will be the implementation."
Students were on site for the first time Nov. 1 with two Ohio State University students who showed them how to work surveying equipment and taught them some of the nuances of ecological engineering.
Last week was the first time OSU senior and President of the Ecological Engineering Society Jeremy Shechter had done outreach with high school students.
"I thought it was going to be harder, but these kids are interested," Shechter said of teaching them the ropes of surveying.
"They listen," he said.
"I only had to show them once and then they did it."
The experience is one Shechter lacked as a high school student.
"I didn't even know what an engineer was until I was in college," he said.
"Dublin has a good program."
Civil engineering students are set to visit another Dublin engineering class next week and the bridge project Scioto students are tackling could include visits from other OSU engineering students and perhaps professional engineers.
Both the real world experience and a look into the different types of engineering could give Dublin students a leg up when they get to college, Clavin said.
"Research shows that on average a college student will change their degree choice three times before graduating," she said.
"Giving students exposure to career specific applications such as the Environmental Engineering could streamline their future education as well as provides real life applications of course content."
Scioto High School sophomore Dakota Austin said she plans to go into engineering in college and is participating in the OSU Engineering Exploration program.
Last week's field experience into surveying eliminated that from Austin's list though.
"I like this project a lot," she said.
"It will really help with deciding what type of engineering I want to do," she said.
"I'm glad to do this in high school so we can figure out what type of engineering to do."