Faculty of Engineering Secondary School students win global design challenge

Posted on Monday, October 4, 2021

Collage of both students on zoom holding up their project

Alicia (left) and Esmèe (right) show their work during the Micro:bit Do Your :Bit competition. 
Photo credit: Micro:bit Educational Foundation

In September, two former students of the Faculty of Engineering Secondary School, Esmée Bennison and Alicia Allen, won the Micro:bit’s 2021 Do Your :Bit global challenge by creating a device to help manage anxiety.

The Do your:bit challenge is an annual worldwide competition for young people aged 8 to 18 to come up with innovative solutions that work towards the United Nations’ Global Goals and solve problems facing the world. Their winning device the ‘Micro:Calm’ is an all-in-one device that provides users with multiple coping mechanisms such as a fidget toy, emotion check-in, box breathing, and a game to deal with anxiety. Chosen out of 4,000 submissions, Alicia and Esmée won the ‘micro:bit solution’ category in all of North America.

“I am delighted to be a woman in STEM and I hope that by being one of the winners I can be a role model for other aspiring young women.” said Esmèe.

The girls were introduced to concepts and skills related to technological design and computer science In the "TDJ2O: Technological Design" course they were taking at the uOttawa Faculty of Engineering Secondary School.

“Through these programs, participants gain valuable knowledge and practical experience in the STEM field. We are very happy for the girls’ success, as we always encourage our students to use what they’ve been taught in our courses to solve new challenges and create innovative ideas” said Frank Bouchard, Manager of Outreach Office at the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Ottawa.

The Faculty of Engineering Secondary School offers high school students the opportunity to take courses while gaining credits toward their Ontario secondary school diploma and while engaging them in hands-on learning opportunities in technological design or computer science.

Other outreach programs at uOttawa include clubs, workshops, events, summer camps, and credited summer courses that allow participants to explore a wide range of topics in engineering, science, and technology. Children of all age groups are encouraged to participate, with programs for students as young as kindergarten age.

Learn more about Faculty of Engineering Outreach Programs.

Register for Faculty of Engineering Outreach Programs.

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