Pat Sullivan and Paul Kanouff shared their expertise with students at local area schools.
Pat visited Keystone Oaks High School and spoke to a group of students about a future in civil engineering. He spent 90 minutes in the high school library speaking to the students in an open discussion format about the various disciplines of civil engineering. He provided the students with samples of several construction materials. He also ran through some exercises with the students: calculating the number of M&Ms in a clear plastic cylinder (using CEC calculator paper and pencils, of course!), discovering the connection and support of formwork used in the construction of concrete retaining walls, determining the distance between two objects using a transit (pre-GPS), and constructing a truss bridge using nothing but popsicle sticks, binder clips, and clothespins. Winners of the exercises received the cylinder of M&Ms. Two Starbucks gift cards were raffled off at the conclusion of the talk. Pat was invited by Scott Albert and Linda Hanley, who are volunteers of the UcanB Education Program that brings together professionals with interested high school students. Heather Scanlon, the Career Readiness Advisor at Keystone Oaks, arranged the presentation at the school.
Paul participated in Norwin Middle School’s STEM Day 2019. He gave a presentation to three groups of eighth graders and then had them work on a small project. Each group consisted of about 20–25 students. The theme of the day was visiting Mars. Because there are not wetlands or streams on Mars, Paul focused on how wetland plants are adapted to live in wet soils and how plants could be adapted to survive on Mars. Paul also talked a little about CEC and the work that he does. He asked the students break up into small groups and come up with ideas of how to adapt a plant to survive on Mars or engineer a way to protect the plant. Using a variety of different craft materials, the students then had to create a 3D version of their plant and discuss how it would survive on Mars.