Engineering experience at La Trobe

Over 60 students from 22 schools from across Victoria got an exciting 2 day hands-on engineering experience at La Trobe University on the 9th and 10th of April!

Senior school students from these schools were given the opportunity to experience a wide variety of engineering disciplines including Mechatronics, Electronics, Civil, Telecommunications, Aeronautical, Environmental and Software Engineering. All within the modern, well equipped technical laboratories of La Trobe University, including the state-of-the-art Mechatronics & Robotics laboratory which is new to the campus in 2014 to facilitate the new Bachelor of Mechatronics & Robotics course.

Working in teams, students under took a variety of workshops that encompassed the wide variety of engineering disciplines. The workshops included digital TV antenna design, iPad app development, mechatronic robotic arm construction and programming, water extraction from contaminated sources, parachute design and development, and suspension bridge construction. The students were encouraged to tackle the problems as they would as engineers in industry – from planning their workflow, designing solutions to problems and then putting them into production through their fundamental physics, maths and general science knowledge.

Throughout the sessions La Trobe University staff and students were available to answer specific questions from the students relating to the engineering courses on offer at the various La Trobe campuses in Victoria as well as being able to gain valuable insight into the daily life of university students. Student feedback from the day indicated a strong and positive response towards a consideration of studying engineering in the future.

Following a highly informative information session for the visiting parents of the secondary school students put on by La Trobe University staff, final year Electronic Engineering students Adrian Clark and Alice Beckett gave the group a personalised tour of the Melbourne campus. The informal tour was well received by the parents as they gained a different, yet equally exciting perspective of student life at La Trobe University. The group was shown the first rate technical facilities, the beautiful and expansive gardens in the heart of the campus as well as the multitude of student services on hand for helping rurally located students such as their own to settle in.

"La Trobe University not only hosts a range of high quality engineering courses but is also well equipped for delivering a personal learning experience to students from rural areas," explained Eddie Custovic, Associate Lecturer within the Department of Engineering at La Trobe University, "The department here facilitates an open door policy that is very inviting for students to approach teaching staff and accelerate their learning."

List of participating schools:

LEAP Schools

Alexandra Secondary College
Caroline Chisolm Catholic
Catholic College, Sale
Charles La Trobe
Cobram Secondary College
Copperfield College
Donald High School
Drouin Secondary College
Glenroy Secondary College
Hume Central Secondary College
Ilim College of Australia
Lakeview Senior College
Maffra Secondary College
Marian College
Pascoe Vale Girls Secondary College
Rochester Secondary College
Shepparton High School
St Aloysius College
Sunbury College
Tarneit Senior College
Taylors Lakes Secondary College
Thomastown Secondary College
Wanganui Park Secondary College
Western Heights College
Yarrawonga College

Non-LEAP Schools

Ballarat and Clarendon College
Braemar College
Brighton Grammar
Cannon Hill Anglican
Emmanuel College
Fintona Girls School
Frankston High School
John Monash Science School
Kardinia International College
Kingswood College
Marist Sion College
Melbourne High School
Sacred Heart College
The Mac.Robertson Girls' High School
University High School
Wesley College
Woodleigh School

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