News: Corps promotes largest STEM related event in South
Story by Jean Pavlov
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Engineer Career week is celebrated all over the country. The Jacksonville District Corps of Engineers does it's part by offering a day during that week of interaction with local schools, a day of fun, learning and providing information on careers. The two sponsors of Engineer Career week at the district, Society of Military Engineers (SAME) and Jacksonville District, support STEM education, and sponsor various programs associated with STEM.
More than 150 high school students and teachers from 13 public and private schools in northeast Florida attended the annual Engineering Career Day event, hosted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District on Feb. 21. This day-long event was the largest yet for the District which has been co-sponsoring Engineering Career Day with the Society of American Engineers (SAME) Jacksonville Post for the past 12 years.
“The goal of Career Day is to expose local students who may already have an interest in STEM professions to various aspects of engineering and encourage them to consider pursuing a STEM-related college degree. By providing a challenging technical take home project and a surprise problem the day of the event, students get the opportunity to realize engineering can be interesting and fun,” said Matt Lesser, P.E., event chair.
STEM education is a movement in American education to help teachers and students understand how the academic disciplines of science, technology, engineering and mathematics impact the world and prepare students for the workforce of tomorrow.
Career Day 2014’s take home problem involved developing a ping pong ball launcher capable of rapidly and accurately firing through three vertical holes of varying diameters from a distance of 15 feet. Each team received 50 balls and only 10 minutes for setting up and firing which made the task even more challenging.
The students’ creativity was on full display as a wide variety of launchers were engineered for the challenge. Eagle’s View Academy’s Team B won first place and Team A won second place in the highly competitive event.
The students were greeted on the day of the event with a very challenging surprise problem that required students to build a bridge capable of spanning a 7.75-inch chasm with only a single sheet of standard letter-size paper. The bridge was then loaded with sightseers (pennies) until total collapse occurred. Eagles View Academy continued their strong showing as Team A’s bridge won first place by supporting 256 sightseers, or nearly 28 ounces.
Eagle’s View Academy entered four teams with teams A and B placing first and second overall respectively. Col. Alan M. Dodd, commander, Jacksonville District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Naval Facilities Engineering Command commander and current President of the Jacksonville SAME Post, Capt. Christopher H. Kiwus, U.S. Navy, CEC, presented the Eagle’s View Team with the Stanley Cup of engineering, the James L. Garland Award for Engineering Excellence. This award includes plaques representing all past winners and will make Eagle’s View Academy its home for the year to come.
Winners for the Engineering Career Day Event were:
1st Place and winners of The James L. Garland Award for Engineering Excellence: Eagle’s View Academy, Team A.
Ryan Criswell, Ryan Stephens, Eric Rodlich and Tucker Davis. Instructor: Susan Dixon.
2nd Place: Eagle’s View Academy, Team B
Cameron Olsen, Dalton Bishop, Logan Shull and Jon Ehly. Instructor: Susan Dixon.
3rd Place: Bishop Kenny High School, Team C
Connor Noe, Harris Newsteder, Erik Sampayo and Royce Reyes. Instructor: Vicki Schmidt.
Special Recognition from the Events Judges to Atlantic Coast High School
Siyuan Wu, Zachary Joswick, Kyle See, and Arya Khalesi. Instructors: Aseema Sharma and Joseph Williams
Winners in Individual Team Events were:
Surprise Problem –
1st Place: Eagle’s View Academy, Team A
2nd Place: Providence High School, Team C.
Grace and Emma Stotlemyer, Ashley Hughes and Cairis Barron. Instructor: Laura McGill.
3rd Place: Christ’s Church Academy, Team C.
Rebecca Carter, Rachel Faircloth, Riley Brandvold and Sean Quinlan. Instructor: Eugene Clifford.
Take Home Challenge -
1st Place: Eagle’s View Academy B.
2nd Place: Eagle’s View Academy A.
3rd Place: Bishop Kenny High School, Team C.
“The Corps and SAME have been actively involved in engaging local students in engineering activities during Engineering Career Week for many years,” said Laureen Borochaner, chief of engineering for the Corps’ Jacksonville District office. “We believe that these local students are the engineers and scientists of the future and early mentoring is crucial for their future success. Our partnership with local schools overall benefits the profession. I am grateful for all the local companies, universities and volunteers that help make this such a great event.”