August 21, 2023

“Education opens doors. You’ll always have opportunities because education equals knowledge, and knowledge equals power. Education lets you do what you want to do.”

Liam Sykes is passionate about learning and embracing new opportunities, both inside and outside the classroom. He’s a Century College Post-Secondary Enrollment Options student, working on his General Education courses. He’s also a student at Great River School, which focuses on hands-on learning.

Thanks to the wise decisions he’s making now, he’ll have plenty of options when he eventually transfers to a four-year university.

Enhancing Problem Solving Skills and Learning Teamwork

Last year, Liam got a head start on his college education by taking Century’s “Intro to Engineering” class online with Dr. Megan Jaunich. “I love problem solving, and I had a great experience in this class” Liam enthuses. “Megan taught the class in a good way. We had a one-hour lecture, then the class split into groups to work together.

“Megan took us each from where we all were–from professionals to PSEO students–and had us working together in teams. We came from many different perspectives. And, in engineering, you need your teams to work in sync. Having multiple perspectives helps in problem solving.”

Despite being a high school student and younger than many of his classmates, Liam didn’t have any problems fitting in. “I didn’t feel lonely as a PSEO student, nor did I feel out of place. It’s impossible in those classes. Your story is just as interesting as someone else’s,” he adds.

Winning at the Robot Show

One of the best hands-on learning opportunities for Century students is the robot-building project, required of the “Intro to Engineering” students. They can work individually or in teams, and design a working robot, which is displayed in the semi-annual Robot Show at the end of each semester.

Last December, Liam’s his hard work paid off when he discovered he shared the 1st place prize (with one other student) at Century College’s semi-annual Robot Show, with Harold the High-Fiving Robot, his unique creation. He loved participating in the show, and he’s also on his school’s Robotics Team.

Embracing New Educational Opportunities

Taking the online Engineering course was especially helpful for Liam for another reason. He took it before he went on “Semester at Sea”, a months-long, multicultural study abroad trip where he visited eleven different counties.

“Century College’s online courses are designed to help you thrive, and “Intro to Engineering” gave me confidence. When it was time for my “Semester at Sea”, I could focus on my online classes onboard ship and also focus on what I was learning while travelling in country. I found my balance,” Liam remembers.

He had the time of his life, discovering new cultures and countries from Kenya to Morocco on his Spring adventure, and is more excited than ever about continuing his education.

This fall, Liam is back in high school, and is also taking two more Century College PSEO courses online – Spanish and Math.

“Century College is underrated,” he notes. “Being in such a diverse place, with faculty support, and with small classes sizes is great.”


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