A Fort Mill engineer may need them to upload his consciousness into a robot body someday. He may need them to solve male pattern baldness. In any event, Travis Little is counting on them.
Joking aside, the Schaeffler engineer on Thursday told dozens of Fort Mill students technology is driving a changing world, and it’s important students develop math and science skills to sit behind the wheel.
“As a state and a nation,” he said, “we don’t want to be left behind.”
The South Carolina Governor’s School for Science & Mathematics held a four-day CREATEng engineering camp at Springfield Middle School. The Governor’s School hosts camps statewide. This year was the third time in Fort Mill School District.
Kim Bowman, CEO of Governor’s School foundation, said engaged parents and top notch teachers make the district a great partner. A growing number of engineering jobs in the area helps, too.
“It’s a place where great engineers come to work with other great engineers,” Bowman said.
The summer engineering camps are part of South Carolina creating the next wave of them.
“If you think you want to be an engineer, South Carolina wants to help you,” Bowman said.
Students at Springfield created windmills and playing card towers. They designed items for 3D printing. They created finger touch heart monitors that will be used by medical students.
Little, who works with bearing manufacturing in Fort Mill, explained his job to the middle school students in terms of fidget spinners. He said possibilities are almost limitless for students who want to learn. Science and math education is “not a bad start” toward potentially lucrative careers in engineering, either.
As technology like self-driving cars progresses, he said, engineers will become more important.
“The machine can’t do it themselves,” Little said. “They may be able to drive themselves, but they can’t program themselves.”
Just as the understanding of science has changed through the centuries, so will the need to harness it in coming years. Learning science and math is the way to get there, Little said.
“Question everything,” he said, “but be polite about it.”
The Governor’s School began in 1988. Almost 300 students attend its Hartsville campus. For more, visit scgssm.org.