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Blinn College Engineering Club celebrates National Engineers Week

Engineering Night allowed students to test their engineering skills with a variety of hands-on activities

Engineering Night allowed students to test their engineering skills with a variety of hands-on activities

February 23, 2023

The tension was intense as Blinn College student Abbey Beauford searched for a wooden block to safely remove from the Jenga tower.

After a careful inspection, Beauford, a sophomore from Flower Mound, Texas, selected a tile and began inching it out. The tower, however, came tumbling down, giving the Jenga title to fellow student Koen Kok.

Jenga was among the more popular activities at Engineering Night, hosted by the Blinn Engineering Club in the Brenham Campus Student Center in celebration of National Engineers Week Feb. 19-25.

The party, open to all students, drew more than 80 visitors who tried their hands at making paper airplanes (which could fly the longest distance), structures from marshmallows and toothpicks, and balloon-powered cars.

“The activities are centered around student-designed processes that demonstrate engineering principles,” said Lauren Buth, Engineering Programs Director. “The purpose of the event is to celebrate National Engineers Week and as an outreach to general population students about engineering as a whole.”

Haley Burke, Public Relations Officer for the Blinn Engineering Club, said the party was an opportunity for students to interact in a fun atmosphere.

“We all enjoy this kind of stuff, which is why we got into engineering,” said Burke, a freshman from College Station who is enrolled in the Texas A&M Engineering Academy at Blinn-Brenham.

The Engineering Academy provides students with an opportunity to pursue an engineering degree while co-enrolled at Texas A&M and Blinn. Students take math, science, and engineering courses on the Brenham Campus and Texas A&M engineering classes are taught by A&M College of Engineering faculty. Students who successfully complete the program with at least a 3.75 grade point average (GPA) earn automatic admission to the Texas A&M engineering major they choose.

Burke, who wants to become an electrical engineer, said she knew she wanted a career in that field at an early age.

“I’ve been drawn to engineering since third grade,” she said. “I love math and space and problem solving. This is a great way to get into A&M. It’s great here (at Blinn) because it’s like a small community.”

Kiene Demba, president of the Engineering Club, came from the African country of Angola to attend the Engineering Academy.

“I’ve always wanted to go into engineering, building and developing tools that help make human life more efficient,” Demba said. “I saw that Blinn-Brenham had this Engineering Academy program, and I thought it was the best opportunity for me.

“We have great instructors. Professor Randy Brooks is teaching us a new mindset of engineering. Engineering design is a process that helps us come up with new ideas. I’m really focusing on water and water management. This program is going to help me come up with ideas on how to manage water and how to use water in the most efficient way.”

David Paul, vice president of the Engineering Club, comes from a family of engineers.

My parents are engineers,” said Paul, a freshman from Cypress who wants to become a chemical engineer. “One of my mom’s friends goes to A&M and told me about Blinn. This is a really good program, and this (the celebration) is fun, being able to make all these friends.”

Buth said Engineering Night was an example of the camaraderie among students.

“We are so proud of our engineering students, who continually surprise and impress us with their knowledge and love of learning, but what is most admirable about this group is their kindness and respect for each other,” she said. “Being able to work with others is important in the engineering profession, and these students are always supportive and engaged with their classmates. It was a great event, and it was amazing to see the students explore their field in such a creative way.”

The Texas A&M Engineering Academy at Blinn-Brenham represents just one of the transfer opportunities available to Blinn engineering students. In Texas A&M Engineering at Blinn, students co-enroll in the Texas A&M College of Engineering and Blinn, taking courses at both Texas A&M and Texas A&M-RELLIS in Bryan. Students who complete the program with a minimum 3.75 GPA will receive automatic admission to their first-choice engineering major.

The Blinn College District and the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) also partner to offer students a co-enrollment path to earn a bachelor’s degree from UTSA’s College of Engineering. In UTSA’s Transfer Academy for Tomorrow’s Engineers (TATE) program, students take engineering courses taught by UTSA and Blinn faculty. After completing the program, students can transfer to UTSA to earn their Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering.

As the community college partner in the RELLIS Academic Alliance, Blinn also offers pathways toward a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Tarleton State University and a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University-Texarkana. All three bachelor’s degrees can be completed at Texas A&M-RELLIS in Bryan, a cutting-edge campus that brings the state’s leading regional universities together at a single location in the heart of Aggieland.

In addition to these partnerships, Blinn’s Associate of Science in Engineering is designed for transfer to engineering bachelor’s degrees across the state, including programs from the University of Houston and Texas Tech University.

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