Thanks to all of our ASCE volunteers, we had a great Engineers Week with regional students! This annual two-day activity took place at the Carnegie Science Center from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm on Thursday and Friday (Feb 20-21). Over 20 Pittsburgh Section members came out to donating a few hours of their day by encouraging middle and high school students with a potential interest in becoming a Civil Engineer.
The watershed model was once again popular with the students! For those not familiar with it, the students interact during the watershed model demonstration by simulating rain while Section volunteers discuss how Civil Engineers develop methods to control storm runoff pollution and help keep our drinking water sources as clean as possible. Dousing the volunteers in water is always an added bonus for most enthusiastic students!
This year we also brought back the wind tunnel to simulate wind effects on structures. This model presents the need for Civil Engineers to consider wind loads during the design process and demonstrates how the shape of the structure might influence the effects of wind forces. Students had a great time with this display, assembling their own ‘masterpieces’ from various geometrically-shaped foam panels and testing them in the wind tunnel. As with any scientists, students were not deterred by failure. Instead they observed the consequences and went back to the drawing board time and again until they constructed a structure that outlasted those of their classmates.
We also had a handful of volunteers participated in small group speed networking sessions with students, where engineers of various backgrounds and levels of experience shared their day-to-day roles as a Civil Engineer in hopes of sparking interest and answering questions that students may be curious about. Five rounds of speed networking were performed, each in one hour sessions.
Overall it was a great two days. Thank you to all that participated! For those of you that missed this opportunity and would like to participate in future ASCE Educational Outreach programs, please continue to check out our Outreach webpage and Section calendar as there are sure to be other opportunities on the horizon that may be a fit for you.
Brian Heinzl, P.E.
ASCE Pittsburgh Section
Educational Outreach Chair