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Bob Jones engineering interns taste workplace tasks

MADISON – While still students at Bob Jones High School, teenagers in an engineering class have learned an advance lesson about working in a technical job in the 21st century.

Students in Jessye Gaine’s Engineering Internship: Research and Design class delivered their final presentations on Dec. 14 about their experience on the job with local engineering firms. The interns had actual tasks in the firm’s workflows during this glimpse for 12 weeks into the corporate world.

“We could not be more proud to share all they have accomplished,” Gaines said.

Engineering Internship: Research and Design is the final level of Bob Jones Engineering Academy. The unique class combines all skills and knowledge that students have learned in the Foundations and Specialization classes, Gaines said.

“To accommodate the virtual learning environment, the Engineering Internship class included professional training, soft skills development, mentorship with a local engineer and a self-guided, semester-long design project. Students are expected to interact virtually with teacher and mentors and build soft skills and resume experience,” Gaines said.

Engineering students and companies at which they interned are Kayla Lazaro, Nextek Inc.; Olyvia English, Nola VanPeursem Architects PC; Kristina Meade, KTECH; Patrick Nicholson, KTECH; Parx White, CFD Research Corporation; Hamza Gouda, STI Electronics Inc.; Mason Freeman, Additive Manufacturing & Engineering Inc.; Lilian Qu, Aviation and Missile Solutions; and Sydney Truesdail, JACOBS Space Exploration Group.

Sydney Truesdail acknowledged the help that she received during the internship with JACOBS Space Exploration Group and the Materials and Process branch. Truesdail’s primary mentor was Anna Kate Osborn with support from additional mentors Catherine Bell and Travis Palm, along with Team Lead Brent Hartsfield.

After defining hazards and safety procedures in the lab, Truesdail performed a tensile test to determine the maximum amount of force on a material to its breaking point. This test reveals a material’s tensile strength and ductility.

In other work, Truesdail processed a fatigue test to find the number of cycles until failure; low- and high-cycle studies to find elasticity; and fracture test to determine toughness by observing crack growth.

During her experiments, Truesdail used scientific tools, including caliper, extensometers, strain gauge, load cell, microscope, torque transducer, calibration stands, gold standards (load) and dead weights, among other tools.

When asked about ‘Lessons Learned,’ Truesdail said, “Don’t be hesitant to try something new. Do your research. Make connections with other people. Ask questions.”

Truesdail plans to study engineering at the University of Alabama in Huntsville or pharmacy at the University of Mississippi. Truesdail founded a small business, Truesdail’s Tiny Treasures, for crocheting enthusiasts. At Bob Jones, she plays oboe in Bob Jones Wind Ensemble and tenor saxophone in the Patriot Marching Band. A member of varsity track and field team, she competes in pole vault.

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