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Spring on the York College campus

Project-Based Learning Fuels Drive

Mikayla Trost smiles at the camera while working on electrical project at a worktable.

After a spark of electricity fried every circuit at Mikayla Trost’s house in Baden, Pennsylvania, she enjoyed helping her dad to fix each outlet and electronic, learning by taking things apart, switching configurations, and soldering components.

It was no surprise that she later decided to pursue Electrical Engineering in college. She also knew she wanted to be more than just a number in a classroom and that’s why she chose York College. Before she even enrolled, she received emails from Kala Meah, Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering. “They made me feel like I’d have a place here. They knew my name, they wanted me to come here,” she says.

YCP’s small class size and personal attention allows for successful project-based hands-on learning. In Intro. to Electrical Engineering, Trost and her classmates worked in pairs to develop a way for a client with a disability, who could only lift his legs seven centimeters off the ground, to turn on a fan. Trost was excited they built a solution for a real-life problem.

Sophomore Trost applied her classroom knowledge again when she worked on a project influenced by another real-world problem. Professor Meah tasked his students with creating a light that could run for six hours and be dirt/water-resistant. To save battery power, the light needed to sense when the environment was dark in order to turn on. It touched on a personal goal of hers – to create sustainable energy solutions.

She is applying to several renewable energy co-ops for next summer. For now, she’ll continue to grow and learn by doing surrounded by peers and professors who know her name.

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