A Sample of a Field Trip Experience

        My last update was likening a field trip to an octopus. I’m still struggling with organizing and event planning. (I’m pretty terrible right now) But I decided that rather than bog myself down with my inadequacies, I decided to write a POSITIVE entry. The following entry I posted on my other site, but thought would share here, because I had a feeling I was sounding a little negative last time. This field trip was amazing and well worth any of my perceived trouble organizing it! That is my take-away – no matter how I struggle “getting there” if the idea was worthwhile, so will be the result!!
       Hi Everyone. This post is meant to update you a little on a recent field trip we took to Lambton College in Sarnia, Ontario. We had the opportunity to visit 2 distinct aspects of the college. The first part of our tour was to the Cube – an entrepreneurship hub and the second part was to their nearby research facility.
         Starting at “The Cube” we were introduced to some ideas that helped put into perspective how good “start ups” work.  It’s not just a great idea that means you will be successful. As we saw, TIMING is often seen as the most important factor in whether a business will succeed or not. An  example he gave was of an almost unknown company that was basically the same idea as “YouTube”. It was introduced perhaps too early and within 3 years completely folded. On the other hand, that same idea, timed perfectly, a few years later sees YouTube has a huge success. The point was that the idea isn’t always new, but must find the right time to enter a market.
        We were also able to take  a personality test to decide our best role in a team. This is important to surround yourself with the right people who can contribute in areas you might not be as strong. You see, you won’t always succeed with an idea alone. You need timing and a team that can help you develop your product or service in the best ways possible.
       We also had a chance to think of business ideas and compete (friendly) by presenting our ideas. This was enjoyable because we had to work collaboratively to narrow down our best ideas to try to develop (in the short time frame) We had to think of our team, or timing, how viable our idea was, how do we market it, to whom, and how we get this done. It forced us to think quickly, smartly, and present our ideas in a simple, but efficient way. Well worth the time.
        After lunch, we moved on to the research facility. They showed us the 3D printing lab and let us have a sample. (I came home with a miniature globe!) Even though students may see this at school, the scope with which the college can work is much larger. Seeing everything from prototypes, to the software, to the machines and the power washing tools, it was an eye opening experience.
        We then got to speak with people conducting research and see the machines they use. We walked in on an experiment looking at waste water, how to clean it, and how to make more efficient washing machines. They are experimenting with size, water, and cleaning solutions. Very hands on!
          We also learned about all the projects in development pertaining to bio-fuels.I learned that ginseng cannot be grown in the same place twice for up to 30 years. They were trying to find the best conditions under which ginseng can grow – so we saw the “purple light” room which monitors the best wave length of lights to grow ginseng and possibly shorten the growth cycle and re-use soil. I also learned about pennycress and it’s natural pesticide properties that are trying to be harnessed for human use. They also use the weed to make bio-fuels. LOTS OF LEARNING and RESEARCHING happening.

        Don’t be afraid to get involved and think about all your opportunities and pathways during and after high school. Many of the  researchers had been to university but found the availability  to conduct applied research at the college was the opportunity they needed. Be sure to seek out all available options that include both university and college.   I think today was a pleasant surprise for those who might have been skeptical and opened some eyes to see everything our local college has to offer.


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