Students Learn About Engineering at NY Air Brake

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The mission: design a tower using paper. The tallest tower that can hold an object on top wins.

The ones that fall -- well, they lose.

"As we kept going up it got a little flimsier and unstable, so when we put the thing on top of it, it would fall over," said Alexandria Horton, an eighth grader at Indian River Central School.

The challenge was part of an open house held at New York Air Brake in Watertown for middle school students.

They also learned about computer design and quality engineering.

The goal was to get students interested in science, technology, engineering and math.

"There's a shortage of engineers, especially as the baby boomers retire," said the New York Air Brake's John Reynolds.

"We really need to be encouraging," he said, "especially the local kids who are going to come back to this area to become engineers and pursue that career path."

Many students said the open house was more fun than they expected and some even said they're considering a future in engineering.

"When I heard I was going on this field trip, I was like, oh well, we'll just go see," Horton said, "and now that I'm actually doing stuff, it's actually fun and I think it would be really cool to do that when I'm older."

"I'm thinking about when I get older to go into engineering," said Indian River eighth grader Patrick Leonard.

The open house was part of National Engineers Week.

High school students will attend on Friday.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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