Hero photograph
Krishna Sridhar learning computer aided design software
Photo by Rose Struthers

Engineering at Roncalli

Mark Pribis —

Engineering is a new subject at Roncalli College

Last summer a computer room and part of the hard materials shop in the Smyth Block was reconfigured to make a space for an engineering suite. Huge efforts were made by the property team, Les Cosgrove, Neville Lines and Catherine Kelly, as well as IT specialist Craig Perkins to transform the space into a state of the art engineering space.  

Currently, a year 10 engineering class is being taught. Students in this class learn about civil engineering by designing and building models of truss bridges. They test their bridge models to see how much load they can carry in a bridge breaking contest. Next students learn about mechanical design as they use computer aided design (CAD) and computer aided manufacturing (CAM) programs. Students design and model items like model rockets and fidget spinners on the computer. Once their project is modelled, they build a prototype either in a 3D printer or on a computer numerically controlled (CNC) router. Robotics kits are used to engage students in robotics projects. Students will have a robotics competition where they will learn programming and basic engineering principles through robot design. In this portion of the course we learn about computer programming, sensors, and problem solving.

Students learn in the course by completing a combination of hands on and theory projects in which they have an interest. The course is two terms long and the students can take the option of a whole year course where they complete a capstone project utilizing the skills they have learned in the first half of the course.