As part of the National Grid Engineering Fall 2009 Workshop series in collaboration with CSI Liberty partnership 12 students from Curtis High School on Staten Island, guided by Prof. Neo Antoniades of the Engineering Science and Physics Department, spent four two-hour sessions at the College of Staten Island campus working on various engineering projects focusing on electronic circuits, touring research laboratories, attending a geology lecture by Prof. A. Benimoff, learning about engineering design.

Thanks to the generous support of National Grid, which also sponsored engineering workshops last year at CSI, local high school students have had the opportunity to see what engineering is all about.

The students learned the basic concepts of engineering design which, like scientific methodology, is a method of thinking about and approaching everyday problems in the world of engineering. This process begins by teaching the students how to understand the problem, doing the appropriate research and brainstorming before actually putting the ideas together, and synthesizing the problem. Forming engineering teams, dividing the tasks, following the guidance of a project leader, and learning how to work well with their partners is also a big part of these exercises.

The students also learned some practical electronic circuits concepts by doing real-laboratory experimentation, with the help of CSI technician Rich Brown, that involved performing some basic wiring, the building of simple microelectronic circuits, and working as a team. The experiments were translated into useful everyday devices.

In addition, the students gained exposure to the exciting research field of fiber optics and the way it has revolutionized telecommunications.

The goal of the workshops is to teach these students fun ways to approach problem solving with the hope that they will be more inclined to consider careers in science, technology, and more specifically, engineering.