Holmes Fire offers High School Students an intro to Fire Engineering

This Christmas season is taking a different turn for 16 local high school students who have just completed a free 8 week course, funded by Holmes Fire, at the University of Maryland.

The course, Introduction to Math and Physics through Fire Dynamics over the last four years has welcomed over 100 students, offering high school students, in 10th -12th grade, access to a unique educational program exploring the fundamental aspects of Fire Protection Engineering. The course is open to students with a strong interest and aptitude for mathematics and science and ultimately a career in engineering. Through a college-level program, a series of lectures and supported laboratory experiments explores some different topic areas including upward flame spread, fire chemistry and fire kinematics. The course is a voluntary program and does not provide credit to their standard school curriculum.

The course ended on a high this year, with a final live fire safety demonstration on a series of Christmas trees, comparing both live and artificial tree fires. The students monitored their burning behaviour (size, intensity and growth rate) and specifically, those without adequate hydration. Featured on PBS News Hour, check out some impressive footage of these demonstrations!

Christmas Tree Fire Safety Demonstration
Christmas Tree Fire Safety Demonstration

The course has been heavily supported locally by both parents and schools alike as a positive initiative to providing an early introduction to a future college education and ultimately, helping them make an educated choice on their desired course, before applying for college.

High School Student participating in the course
High School Student participating in the course

Holmes Fire would like to thank the University of Maryland for hosting this program and also thank Fire Protection Engineer (FPE) graduate student, Julie Bryant for teaching the course this year with assistance from FPE undergraduate student Matthew Weston- Dawkes.