WVU engineering camp students learn to build bicycles

MORGANTOWN — WVU’s Engineering in Action Camp has 30 high school students from six states building cardboard canoes this week.

They took a break from the watercraft Tuesday July 10 to build bicycles.

Andrew Hoover, instructional coordinator for WVU Science Behind the Sport, taught the students nine lessons that dealt with the mechanics and engineering behind a bicycle. Hoover said the build-a- bike workshop was “just the venue to help them gain an appreciation for real-world science.”

Campers worked in groups to build  bicycles and find fun ways of engaging in STEM — the acronym for science, technology, engineering and math.

“It brings the theory to life and thereby encouraging them to pursue STEM-based careers, especially once they learn that not all engineering jobs are boring,” Hoover said. “Being a scientist doesn’t mean you have on goggles and a lab coat. You can get outside and do some really cool things.”

Hoover taught the students basic mechanics as  well as  proper biking techniques before they took off on a 10-mile ride on the rail-trail.

“This is just the right age where they don’t want to be too cool, but once you get them into it and everyone gets engaged and they’re hands-on, I get excited,” Hoover said. “Just to be able to share my passion with a big group of kids like this and hopefully it peaks an interest.”

Camper Jack Madigan recognized the benefit.

“I like the space aspect of aerospace engineering. Mechanical engineering is something I am interested in as well,” Madigan said.

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