Alix students take fast lane to potential STEM careers through ASET day camp at NAIT

06, Jun, 2024

EDMONTON, June 6, 2024 – Last week, 14 grade nine students from Alix-MAC School in Alix journeyed to NAIT to participate in a STEM Camp Series day camp presented by the Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta (ASET). The day camps give students a hands-on introduction to engineering technology: a profession that offers a wide range of well-remunerated career opportunities for those considering post-secondary education options.

The emphasis of the May 30 day camp was on one of the 21 engineering technology disciplines: instrumentation. Both sessions took place in NAIT’s industrial instruments lab.

During the morning session, the Alix students worked on a level measurement and control system, utilizing the Bubbler method. They became acquainted with the principle of operation for this pressure-based level measurement system. They completed electrical and pneumatic connections and configured an industrial pressure transmitter for level measurement. They applied science and math to predict the level in a tank, worked with software to configure an industrial controller for automatic operation, and tested the level control system functionality in manual and automatic mode.

In the afternoon, the students created a weather station, undertaking a level measurement activity. They added a Lidar (light detection and ranging) sensor to take measurements within a tank. A remote sensing technology familiar to engineering technologists, Lidar measures ranges, employing high-powered lasers and light energy. Students were given the opportunity to apply it in a controlled, practical setting while working with industrial grade equipment.

In between sessions, students learned about the engineering technology profession - not to be confused with engineering - and the diversity of disciplines and occupations that exist within it.

According to the Government of Canada website, this nation has become a world leader in STEM fields, and many emerging jobs and career opportunities are STEM-related. It forecasts that as more businesses and organizations look to innovate, modernize and grow, the demand for professionals who can fill STEM-related jobs will increase.

A recent study signalled the urgency of attracting more Canadians to STEM careers, including youth poised to enter post-secondary education. In August 2022, the C.D. Howe Institute released a report called The Knowledge Gap, which indicated that Canada faces a significant digital and STEM skills shortage due to the aging population and rapid digitalization across the economy. One of the report’s recommendations was to increase STEM enrolment and graduation numbers by raising students’ performance in STEM subjects.

“We know that market demand for STEM-related skills is here to stay and destined to grow exponentially in the years ahead,” said ASET CEO Barry Cavanaugh. “Young or old, any professional equipped with an engineering technology diploma and the requisite skills is ready to take on the world. The ASET STEM Camp Series day camps give Alberta youth the strategic advantage of early exposure to a fulfilling career with a secure future.”

According to ASET’s 2022 Salary Survey, instrumentation engineering technologists starting their careers as technologists-in-training (TTs) command an average annual salary of approximately $66,439. TTs are graduates of polytechnics/technical colleges, have engineering technology diplomas, and are registered with ASET and in the process of accumulating the necessary field experience to earn their designations as certified engineering technologists (CETs).

ASET is partnering with school boards to develop student outreach activities in association with Alberta’s polytechnics/technical colleges.

About ASET
ASET is the professional self-regulatory organization for engineering technologists and technicians in Alberta. ASET currently represents over 17,000 members, including full-time technology students, recent graduates and fully certified members in 21 disciplines and more than 120 occupations across a multitude of industries.

Media Contact:
Michele Penz, Calico Communications for ASET


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