If you are a student: Build Your Team!
Invite 2 - 4 students in your school to participate in the competition with you. Each team should be composed of no less than 3 students and no more than 5 students. Embrace diversity of talent and background – teams that involve students with different perspectives, skills and interests are usually successful in projects like this.
Emphasize that no technical expertise is required to participate in the competition – all teams will receive the necessary background on key fire protection engineering concepts (through professional mentors and provided audiovisual and written instructional materials) to effectively participate in the program. FPEDC accommodates as many teams as are created at each participating school. Each team should nominate a leader who will serve as a liaison between the team and the FPE Department at the University of Maryland.
For your group to be officially recognized by the Department as a participating team, you will need to complete the Student Team Application (only one application is required for each team) and have each member of your team sign and return the program’s Consent and Release Form (see section on “Downloadable Resources” below for a copy of this form).
If you are a teacher: Serve as an In-School Mentor!
In-school mentors are teachers who have volunteered to support the participation of students in the competition. By offering to serve in this capacity, teachers are making a commitment to make their classrooms available, usually after school hours, to be utilized by professional mentors and student teams for instructional purposes. Teachers will also supplement the guidance provided by professional mentors by checking in regularly with student teams and supporting them as needed. When necessary or appropriate, teachers will also serve as liaisons between the FPE department at the University of Maryland and student teams.
If you are a fire protection engineer: Become a Professional Mentor!
Each participating team will be assigned a professional mentor. Professional mentors are not required to lecture students as students are provided with an easy-to-follow curriculum and supplementary videos that cover all the information they need to know to effectively participate in the competition. Professional mentors, however, are expected to meet with students no less than monthly over the course of the competition to clarify concepts, conduct lab demonstrations (see section on “Downloadable Resources” for our Lab Demonstrations Guide), and provide mentoring. Outside of in-school visits, professional mentors are expected to be available over email to answer students’ inquires that specifically pertain to their projects.
High School Design Challenge
Looking for a fun, STEM-filled project for your students that tackles real-world problems? Contact us to participate in the Fire Protection Engineering High School Design Challenge!