Academics :: School of Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics

Regional Academy Events & Field Trips

Academy Field Trip to Virginia Tech's Ware Lab

Engineering students have always conducted projects, and at Virginia Tech students are able to be involved in projects from the beginning of their academic careers. Historically, the projects have been spread out through the many buildings occupied by the College, basically where they could find the space for the teams to work. Largely because of a generous gift from Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Fulton Ware, Jr., Virginia Tech has consolidated a number of these "Student Involvement Projects" in a facility known as the Joseph Fulton Ware, Jr. Advanced Engineering Laboratory.  Joe Ware is a 1937 graduate of Virginia Tech's Department of Mechanical Engineering.

Ware LabThe Virginia Western Regional Academy traveled for a field trip to the Ware Lab on October 6, 2009, to discover and experience the different projects students at Virginia Tech have completed and are in the process of developing.  The students were intrigued by all the projects and a tour of the facility was directed by Dewey Spangler, MSCE, PE, manager of the laboratory.  Students took notes to create a report for their classes and studied the different types of projects that have been developed at Virginia Tech.

The Ware Lab focuses on a hands-on-learning environment and students are encouraged to participate in these projects as early as their freshman year. The Klages Machine Shop, equipped with various machine tools used for project manufacturing including two CNC Machines, is also located within the Ware Lab.

Mechatronics Academy Fall Field Trips

Optical Cable PictureField trips for Mechatronics Regional Academy students are designed to promote recognition, provide resources, and enhance social networking for students.  The VWCC Regional Academy promotes mechatronics as a discipline, as well as the recognition and understanding of mechatronics field of study.

The exciting field of mechatronics-increasingly recognized as a contemporary, integrative design methodology-is serving as a vehicle to engage and stimulate the interest of students in hands-on, interdisciplinary, collaborative learning. Mechatronics is a synergistic integration of mechanical engineering, control theory, computer science, and electronics to manage complexity, uncertainty, and communication in engineered systems. The typical knowledgebase for the optimal design and operation of mechatronics and smart systems comprises of system modeling and analysis, decision and control theory, sensors and signal conditioning, actuators and power electronics, hardware interfacing, rapid control prototyping, and embedded computing. The relevant technology applications of mechatronics include medical, defense, manufacturing, robotics, automotive, and distributed systems and smart consumer products.

The Mechatronics Academy Students are provided tours to industry partners like Graham White, Elizabeth Arden and Optical Cable. These field trips enabled instructors to expand student learning beyond the walls of the classroom into the community outside. It provided students with experiences that cannot be duplicated in the school but are nonetheless an integral part of the academy instruction. These field trips offered an opportunity to increase student knowledge and understanding of mechatronics and added realism to this topic of study.  Processes and terminology used in these plants gave the students the knowledge that what they are learning applies in everyday life.

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