RTM Engineering Consultants project engineers Jaclyn Baker and Sima Mustaklem served as judges and provided evaluations as part of the Chicago Public Schools’ Career & Technical Education (CTE) pre-engineering capstone event held at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) on May 22, 2015.
This capstone event was part of Project Lead the Way (PLTW), a sequential engineering program for CPS students, who can earn up to 15 college credits that are transferable to four-year schools and two-year institutions. The program covers the foundations of engineering and provides hands-on experience with real engineering concepts. It is beneficial for students interested in pursuing the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.
High school juniors and seniors were put into teams of two to six students, depending on the project type. All students were directed to use their engineering notebooks and an electronic portfolio to document their projects, and for specialization courses, students were provided with a selection of potential projects to choose from.
As judges, Baker and Mustaklem represented RTM and used their experience and knowledge of the engineering field to assess and evaluate the team projects based on provided rubrics. Five finalists were chosen to advance and compete in the “Shark Tank” round at the end of the day, during which they gave an elevator pitch of their project, answered judges’ questions and demonstrated their project within a five- to seven-minute time frame.