FHS students visit Virginia Tech engineering schools

Published 5:04 pm Friday, November 19, 2021

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Franklin High School freshmen through seniors attended the Virginia Tech National  

Society of Black Engineers on Saturday, Nov. 6. 

A Franklin City Public Schools press release continued by noting that the 17 students participated in a discovery of how science, technology and engineering are present and relevant in their everyday lives. Civil, construction and environmental engineering were featured in this pre-college initiative program.

The chaperone for the seniors and juniors was Frieda Idisi-Cole, who is the Alt Ed/Individual Student Alternative Education Plan facilitator and adult education program manager at FHS. Dara Fenner accompanied the sophomores, and Valencia Wright accompanied the freshmen.

Following registration, breakfast and a brief introduction to the program and expectation, the students toured the university’s schools of engineering. There they spoke with representatives from the various programs. 

Gifts of memorabilia were later bestowed, including being able to “strike a pose” for the camera.

“After the tour we began our first hands-on activity where the students learned some important mechanics and stability needed for building a bridge,” Idisi-Cole said. “After lunch the final activity was understanding how hydraulics were done. My group did not win any prizes, but the enthusiasm and concentration they spent on the activity was rewarding.”

She said the FHS group mixed in with students from other schools for team building, and much of their work was done by trial and error.

“But they learned,” the chaperone added. 

Idisi-Cole also said of the event, “To me, it let them understand that engineers are world problem-solvers. They combined scientific knowledge with technical skills to find solutions to problems. It was enjoyable to watch their ingenuity, creativity and imagination.” 

She continued, “In debriefing with my group, they were inspired and amazed at the various types of engineering programs there (at Virginia Tech). They had fun learning and participating in various activities and competitions … It was a very rewarding day for the students of FHS. They are hoping to return in the spring for the next session.” 

She added that the students represented the school district well. 

Lastly, “We left the campus at 4:30 p.m. feeling great and chatted about all we saw and did,” she said. “A quick stop at Buffalo Wild Wings was just what we needed for the road trip home.”