A collection of previous popsicle stick engineering projects on Nov. 13, 2023. (Photo by Diego Esquivel)

Mesa Community College engineering program highlight

The engineering program at Mesa Community College has been helping students become future innovators since the 1990’s to help solve real world problems.

The program leads students on a pathway of taking math and science courses to better prepare them for the field of engineering.

According to Cody Anderson, engineering program director, a unique feature of the program is the overlap of the many different fields of engineering in one class.

In the introductory courses, students looking to work in fields such as computer science, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and civil engineering all have the same starting point.

The overlap of skills gives students a sense of the broad opportunities available in this field, as well as teaching teamwork and collaboration between different disciplines.

Problem solving, teamwork, and communication are important skills for engineers to have. These are topics that have all been included in the course to better prepare students for real world situations.

“We want our engineering students to be able to step out into the real world and say, yeah I worked on a similar problem before, I can not just memorize formulas but I can solve this real world problem,” said Anderson.

Anderson described how students will identify real world problems, which is the first step to a unique real world solution. 

The students will eventually select a problem they wish to solve for their final project and must find something they wish to find a solution for in their own lives, according to Anderson.

The program provides many different softwares for students to work on such as Solidworks, Excel, MATLAB, and Logisim for circuit modeling, according to Anderson.

There are also many hands on tools like 3D printers and cricut tools available for any project a student is working on.

Anderson described an engineering degree as a master key that opens a number of different doors and explained how the course is more than just punching numbers.

“When a lot of people think of engineering, they just think of punching numbers and spreadsheets and graphs, and that’s important but a small piece of what engineers do. It’s a lot more about coming up with a solution that’s going to work in the real world for everybody and being able to communicate that,” said Anderson.

The program is also actively looking to grow as student attendance continues to grow throughout the semester.

“We are looking to grow because there is high student demand. There was a little dip during covid but it seems like students are back on track and ready to take on the challenging degree that is engineering. So we are actively looking to add a couple more classes every semester, hoping to add faculty as well,”

Anderson discussed hopes of future partnerships with organizations and a chance for students to get involved through internships.

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