One weekend, 2 million square feet, 3,000 exhibits, a quarter-million students.
It’s one of the largest STEM events in the world, so you know ASCE had to take part in the USA Science and Engineering Festival, April 6-8, in downtown Washington, DC.
ASCE members from nearby Sections and Branches, as well as a large contingent from the Howard University ASCE Student Chapter, volunteered at the festival, educating and inspiring children about civil engineering at the Society’s booth.
“The whole community outreach aspect of ASCE is important to me,” said Mike Yasek, P.E., M.ASCE, president of the Virginia Section’s Bull Run Branch. “To be a part of a huge STEM event like this, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity.”
Yasek helped students build and test structures in the Windy City Tower activity, made popular by its inclusion in the ASCE IMAX film Dream Big: Engineering Our World.
Created with flickr slideshow.
Meanwhile, Matthew McCarty, P.E., S.E., M.ASCE, brought his quake shake table to the festival, and it quickly attracted crowds of kids.
“I think what we as structural and other engineers do is really fascinating,” McCarty said. “Helping give a window into how the built environment is actually designed and functions gives students a better appreciation and wonder for it, which helps spark their own design creativity.”
For many of the Howard students, it was not so long ago that they were in the role of wide-eyed kids. Now they’re the role models.
“I feel like it’s amazing. It’s our opportunity to give back and get kids interesting in civil engineering,” said Camille Wallace, S.M.ASCE, a sophomore civil engineering student at Howard.
“And you get to see how much you know, too, because you tend to learn in the classroom, but it’s more effective when you do fun activities also outside the classroom.”